I have been missing a huge pie sized chunk of my soul for a very long time. Like I’m crawling through a never lifting heavy fog that’s weighing on my chest and unless I can get that pie back in one piece and totally uneaten I’ll never get out…isn’t that a nice opening statement? Sucks you right in like “wow, this female is a totally sad excuse for a decent train wreck” right from the jump. Excellent! That was the goal. So,now that I’ve gotten your attention, let me elaborate a bit.
I was an extremely athletic person my entire childhood, all the way up through my teens, and into my medical health downfall stage of my early 20’s. Nothing was too much for me. I was a heavily competitive gymnast from the time I was 3 until I was 14; a horseback rider since I was able to hold myself up; a diver for my high school swim team (yes people, I may be broken and out of shape but, I can still do a mean double twisting one and a half) ; a decent mountain biker and finally a runner, both competitively and well…in all honesty, what else is there in life but competition? You’re either competing against another human or you’re competing with yourself. Either way, you have to step up to the challenge to do better or at least do as well as you did the time before. There is nothing more gratifying in the world than that.
At least to me there isn’t.
There used to be 2 things in the world that could bring me out a funk. Singing and running. If it was a really bad day I’d do both simultaneously.It may seem weird but let me assure you that running the streets of NYC and singing at the top of your lungs doesn’t get you that many weird looks around this massive city, contrary to popular belief, and to top it off it’s great for building lung capacity. I’m just sayin’. Anyway, doing those 2 things on a daily basis kept me grounded, made me smile and ultimately made my ass look amazing. Ok, Ok, i’m sure the singing had nothing to do with my ass, but the running definitely played a part.
It seems I’m deviating away from the point. Apologies.
Anyway, in my early 20’s I had no choice but to stop running, completely, due to being diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis, Vulvodynia, and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (all incurable,chronic pelvic pain conditions) which are all super aggravated by just being alive, let alone any type of physical activity. At first not being able to run every day seemed like something I could live with. It was either continue with the rapid leg movement and foot/pavement battles or aggravate all my my medical conditions and end up not being able to walk or function for 3-7 days after a short 2-3 mile run…which totally blows. I chose the first option and continued to struggle with my medical conditions, weight, and most of all a clear mind. In all honesty it took a few yrs for it to really catch up and start affecting the competitive side of me but, at the time, not running was the best thing I could’ve done for my body. Probably not running for 3-5 years was still in my body’s best interest and probably starting to run again a year ago probably wouldn’t have been the best idea either. So I didn’t. It had been almost 7 years since I had to give up that pie and quite frankly I felt it was time I was allowed to eat the damn thing, bite by bite, and in peace (with no napkins to wipe my face when I was finished) Hah! Take that clean, dainty, fancy-esque people!
As many of you are well aware I was filmed for MTV True Life for an episode called “I can’t Have Sex” (yes you can watch it here if you wish..just click)” which focused on the Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and Vulvodynia aspect of my day to day life and intimate relationships. A massive part about my section of the show was about how I started to attend internal and external physical therapy to learn how to help manage the pain, re-teach my pelvic floor muscles how to act properly, and how to understand that much of our own personal xi and vibrational energy plays a part in healing. I started my therapy almost a year ago and although I am no longer in excruciating pain every day of my life, I still spend hours a week reteaching these muscles how to function like a normal 25 year old’s muscles should just so I can continue to act like a normal 25 yr old should…err something. Now, keep in mind that I do, in fact, spend even more time destroying those rebellious muscles because I refuse to continue to let these conditions hold me back any longer. So, am I cured? Hell no…no such thing exists just yet but my pain is managed and my pelvic muscles are kept on a very tight leash which I just so happen to have conveniently handcuffed to my wrist at all times to help keep them in check. With all of that being said, I decided it was time to once again consider myself a runner.
In order to do such a thing …you must run.
I started slowly about a month ago..and when I say slowly I mean it .Usually that whole slow thing isn’t an option for me but I dragged Meg Dollar, my wonderful best friend and roommate with me for the adventure. She was never a runner in her life and when she tried to run…even slowly… it looked like something out of the Goonies. Jaw dropped, foaming at the mouth, and a gate like Sloth. Truly, Sloth’s droopy eye could’ve run a better mile. No lie. I figured it would be good practice for her and also a great way to keep me at a decent pace until I got reacquainted with my legs. Mission accomplished! We worked our way around Central, Riverside, and St. Nicholas parks in increments. Run for 2 minutes….walk for 30 sec and so on. We are now up to jogging a steady 3-5 miles a day and have stopped putting limitations on the terrain. Genius, I tell you. Genius. Around the same time that we started this leg/jog/one foot in front of the other in a quick fashion extravaganza another close friend imparted upon me the wisdom that is The Spartan Race . Dun dun dun……! It was a match made in heaven and after watching their 10 minute video we mentally opted in. I’m happy to say that last night we officially opted in when we officially registered for the official extra day that they added on September 25th @ Wolf’s Pond Park in Staten Island. Officially, I am going to be running an 8+ mile, 15+ obstacle race and officially I not only plan to make it though it alive, but with a hell of a good time for someone who hasn’t been able to run in years thanks to a stupid medical handicap. It’s officially, official and even my pelvic floor muscles, bladder, and broken everything else in my body say GAME ON!
It’s going to be a lot of hard work and I’m totally up to the task seeing as though I am Lady Sparta (Don’t judge me). One thing I have always had in my life is believing in mind over matter and shit tons of discipline (thanks gymnastics). I will do this..and after I conquer this Super Spartan Race..I will conquer the next one..and after that one…I will level up and do the Beast…and after that I will do the Death Race. And then I will probably die…
The moral of this story is that in the end no one has control over my body but me. I’ve let these medical conditions wear me down for far too long and this time…I plan on running closer to every challenge and further away from every cop out. I am one step closer to reclaiming my inner Lady Sparta and stuffing my face with that pie.
Thanks to all who have stood by me through the rekindling of an old favorite adventure of mine and thanks to all those who are helping me to make new adventures….Spartan race people…yes I am, in fact, talking about you. Thanks for adding that extra day…..my soul stopped crying and chugging the metaphorical handle of vodka due to complete and total elation.
Kids if you’re interested in participating in the race check out all the links and also follow them on twitter @spartan_race for updates and offers. Oh yea, click like on Facebook as well.
oh yea…and hey, hey, yes, you. Follow me on twitter as well…i’ll be updating incessantly about the entire experience. @talithaketeri. Oh hell, follow my teammate Meg dollar too…@dancerdollar.
If you don’t have me on facebook yet. Do so!
I AM LADY SPARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA