Yesterday I woke up way earlier than I should have, and embarked on a journey to MetLife Stadium to participate in my first ever Color Me Rad 5k.
It’s just Color Me Rad, and it’s not timed or anything, and a lot of people walk it (it’s almost too crowded to run the whole thing unless you’re really determined/a runner), but it’s still a 5k and I’m glad I did it.
Remember when Rachel wrote and raved about “fun runs” a few weeks ago? Well she convinced me to sign up for Color Me Rad, and told me that it’s ok that I can’t really run. I’m glad that she did. We’re doing The Color Run at the end of the summer with some more bros, and I’m really excited for it.
Of course, the best part of the run is the color. I love color. Life is color. I work with color for a living. The color motivates you to keep going during the run. We ran for a few minutes to the first color station but after that I was a pretty much dead. I was like “#lol I’m too old for this. #grandma.”
See, I have fibromyalgia. I have had it for as long as I can remember, but I was only diagnosed around my senior year of college. Having FMS means I also have a whole host of other chronic illnesses or problems, most of which can be summed up in initials as well. I have mentioned many a time that I love going to the gym. No matter how much I work out, I will always feel “out of shape”, due to my conditions. I can never seem to increase my endurance or my strength. I wish I could. But I know that, realistically, going to the gym is just keeping me from getting weaker, not making me stronger. I guess I’ll take it, because that’s at least something.
FMS is the reason that I’m gluten free, and it’s the reason why I’m always tired, and why life makes me exhausted.
So for me to sign up for these “fun runs” is me really trying, really working to do something beneficial for myself and reach some sort of goal. The goal, by the way, is just to complete the darn thing and say that I did it and enrich my life in some way shape or form.
I am always torn about whether or not people need to know about my condition. I know I “don’t look sick” so people can’t usually tell, but then when I’m tired or can’t do something, I’m often criticized. In college, someone once told me that he hated me because I slept through an event instead of going to see it to support my peers. Sorry I’m not sorry. It doesn’t affect my work, just look at my student teaching semester, or the costumes I produce for the most wonderful kids ever. I get work done. It would be nice just to have others understand my condition.
BUT, I also hate it when people think they understand, and then treat me as if I’m so helplessly weak. I can carry my own suitcases/shopping bags/etc., thank you very much. It is hard, it hurts my back, and drains all of my spoons, but I will ask for help when and if I need it, thank you. If I think someone is patronizing me or treating me weaker and more feeble than I really am, I will hurt myself to do the job on my own, because if there is one thing I am not, it is mentally weak, so I try to persevere to be physically strong.
So yesterday, every time Rachel and I saw the color stations in sight, I made the effort to jog or run it out. To jog or run to the finish line. Even if everything in between was just a fast walk.
And my reward was being covered in color, which is like being covered in happiness bestowed upon us by Lisa Frank unicorns. My scalp and ears are still orange today, and I still have pink on my arms and around my ankles. Worth it.
I can barely walk around the house today, but I don’t care, I’m excited for the next Color Run at the end of the summer. Bring it on, because this old lady is coming for you!