Buck Up - You aren't Losing Your Legs

I went into Dr. Bahl yesterday to start some of the easy blood tests.

I know him from my Red Wing YMCA days. He is the kindest individual I have ever met! So kind, in fact, that it brings tears to my eyes just thinking about him and how much he truly just wants to help. I don't know if there are many that have such a deep compassion like his. It's hard to explain.

He's always been that way - he was one of the two men that earlier in my running career pushed me to think about the possibilities of running full-time, which if not for them (Dr. Bahl and John M!), I know I would never have considered it... yet alone tried to make it happen :).

But, I digress (as I wipe a couple of tears off my cheeks - Yes, I cry way too easily). I came in with a print out of my blog post and a summary of all of the possibilities all of you wonderful bloggers/friends/runners have suggested. The list was pretty long :). Plus two previous blood work #s. I came prepared! And then I proceeded to walk Dr. Bahl through an entire summer's worth of symptoms and potential clues. Then we talked through the "list" of potential culprits. I'm sure most doctors would hate a patient like me!

He decided to order almost every test on my list and added a couple he thought of. Why not, we decided? As long as I'm giving blood, why not give a gallon?

Then I started to cry in his office. I guess it's because I realized how broken I was. That's obviously overstating things, but I do feel broken, and without a how-to-manual or google info to fix myself. I also realized how much this whole running thing still means to me and how unhappy I am where I am at.

I think the other reason I cried is that I am so disappointed in myself! As I was explaining things to Dr. Bahl, I was listening to what my training was like and my symptoms for the first time as "an outsider" (i.e. how he would hear things). Immediately, I asked myself, what the heck were you doing?!? This sounds like an endurance athlete's rendition of a soap opera and horror film!

I hate soap operas. Wonder what a horror-themed soap opera would look like?
I know better than this. I know it's sometimes hard to look at something from above when you're deep in the details and day-to-day... but you'd think with the intuition I've developed as a coach I could at least apply some of that to myself! 

Back to the doctor's office! After giving the lab 6 vials of blood (how generous of me), I gave Dr. Bahl a hug as I left, tears still in my eyes. I was feeling sorry for myself. But then...

As I walked out, I overheard someone in the entrance of the hospital tell another, "Yeah, and then I lost my right leg to diabetes...". I think sometimes God places people or conversation specifically for you... and I know I was meant to hear this to remind me that whatever this is, it is NOT a big life-changing deal. It will pass. I'm not losing my legs :). Couldn't have been a more perfectly timed, perfectly to-the-point message!



This compilation (30 of the most powerful images EVER! Love the internet headlines :)) also reminds me that I have nothing to cry or feel sad or bad about... I am lucky to be who I am, have what I have, and be doing what I'm doing! I have done so much with running, met so many awesome people, and have the incredible support of Brooks, Stunt Puppy, Nutrilite, and Generation UCAN. I have so much to be thankful for!!

 http://www.boredpanda.com/must-see-powerful-photos/

Until tomorrow, Run Happy!
Nichole

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

8 comments:

  1. You have great perspective, Nichole. And you are right - you aren't losing your legs. And that's great! And you know that this will pass - at some point, you WILL get to the bottom of this. And whether it's just time you need, or the blood work will show something amiss that you can fix, or something else, hopefully you will start to feel better soon. But you are still allowed to be frustrated and sad that you don't have answers at the moment, and that you are going through the painful process of figuring it out - that's completely human. :) Especially when not having those answers means that something you love very dearly (running, and running well) is in a bit of limbo at the moment. I know that most every runner can identify with that feeling of sadness. Great post - I'm glad you have the perspective you do, and as a fellow runner, I want to give you a big virtual hug and let you know that it's going to be okay. :)

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    1. This comment made me SMILE! I can feel the virtual hug - seriously!! :)

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  2. Loved your article Nichole. The powerful images were amazing. Thanks for sharing. BTW, your running will soon be where you'd like it to be. You have so much determination ,will, talent and work ethic for it not to be. Hang in there!

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  3. Things happen for a reason, and maybe right now the reason your body is telling you to slow down, just trust GOD and your running legs will come back

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  4. Hey Nichole,
    I know it's easy to get trapped in the idea that "something is terribly wrong with me, and that's why I'm not fast," but, as they say in the medical profession: "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses--not zebras." Count up the number of marathons that you have either trained for or run in the past 14 months, and then ask yourself if you are still confused as to why you are tired. You have also switched from a lifestyle in which you were working full-time at a professional job (read: had something else to think about) to one in which you are only obsessing about your running. Now you have your answer. You have got to step back and view your current situation as you would view any of your athletes'.
    Best of luck.

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    1. Yep, I know. I've thought about that a lot. I knew it wasn't smart, but went ahead anyway. I wouldn't have an athlete go and race 4 marathons in what...10 months?... so why am I thinking it's okay for me? :) I need someone to save me from myself. Lucky Chris :).

      And also know that it is likely just extreme over-training (over-racing?). It'd be convenient if it was "something", but intuition tells me not. In the mean time, I'll enjoy the down time.

      Perfect comment - thanks!

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    2. And when I count back 14 months, that'd be 6? NY, CIM, Indoor, Whidbey, Fargo, Chicago, NYC.

      Hmmm. Point well taken :).

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  5. Love and hugs sent your way! Keep feeling and listening :). Let your body feel all these emotions (it needs to) and keep your head up, you are uber strong :)

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