Today I took on a new challenge to run 18.5 miles this week. I am "virtually" running a race with at team out of Texas, dfw Diabetes and Exercise group. Since I can't be there, I run on my own. Since I can't run that far at one time, I am breaking it into smaller runs. Since I am a diabetic, this is important to me.
Just like I remember the day of the race when I finally broke 29 minutes, I equally remember the day I sat in doctor's office because the school nurse had sent me - yes, the school nurse. Nothing quite like a school nurse telling you to go to the hospital and banning you from returning to your class. I talked her into just letting me go to the local clinic instead. I was ready for them to say what I already knew. I was simply tired. All teachers are tired!
Come to think of it, I'd had "symptoms" for weeks but I had a reason for every one. I was having severe leg cramps almost every night, but I had been working out like a banshee so I figured the cramps were simply the result of pushing myself a bit too hard. I was also always thirsty, but it had been a particularly hot summer, even for South Mississippi. Of course I was thirsty! Who wasn't? There were the constant trips to the bathroom, but since I was drinking so much water....Oh, and the only good part - I was losing weight! I was at one of my lowest weights of my adult life, but since I was working out so much and drinking water and eating healthy for the first time ever, I figured I'd finally just hit the right mix for me.
I also noticed, I wasn't walking as fast as I once did. It took real effort to keep up with students as we walked back from lunch. Oh well, this is what happens with age. Only it wasn't just age. It was diabetes.
I remember the nurse practitioner telling me, "You have diabetes."
"No I don't," I argued.
"Yes, you do."
"No I don't."
"Fine, but come back tomorrow so I can show you how to give yourself insulin injections." My blood sugar that day was 583. It was the first day of what would become a new life for me.
Fast forward about 3 years and I am attempting to undertake a run of 18.5 miles (not all at once - stretched out over the week.) I remember when that would have taken me at most, 3 days...now I'll be working hard to do it in a week. I can't do what I once could, but I can still do. I can still run and be active. I am an athlete - not an elite athlete, but an athlete all the same.
I am also a diabetic. One that is determined to keep moving forward until I finally run across heaven's finish line...saying I left nothing on the field. I gave it my all. I may not be the fastest, or ever be the best at anything other than being me...but I'm trying. I will not give in to a "diagnosis" or a "sentence of diabetes and old age" I will live in today. I can be sad that I can't do what I once was able to do, or I can get up each day and be determined to do what I CAN do. As I read today, you can't move on to the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one.
Yep, the past was pretty good, but the future looks awesome!
How about you? Care to join me?
Here's a link to the group I'm virtually running with! dfw diabetes and exercise facebook page
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (Message)
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!