But I've also gained a sense of strength that I didn't realize I was capable of. I've gained endurance. I've gained perspective. I've gained a sense of accomplishment. I've gained friendships.
I've been empowered as a wife, mother, gluten-eliminator, and stand-in pancreas for my daughter.
I'm not sure I was prepared for the emotional response I would have to this BodyBack experience. In the past six weeks, I've done things I never imagined that I would ...COULD ... be capable of doing.
When I look back on the past 6 years, the same holds true. Six years ago, the symptoms were there -- albeit, intermittent -- but still there, nonetheless. In my heart, I knew what was happening, but I chose to ignore it. I didn't think I'd ever be able to face the truth. I stayed in the safe haven of denial until it was almost too late. It took ME (the RN, the MOTHER, the "STRONG ONE") a week before I could prick her finger or give her a shot with confidence. I never thought I could look at a plate of food and guess the carbs correctly. I was sure I wouldn't be able to figure out how to stop the awful lows she used to have. I didn't think I could ever master an insulin pump. I was sure that our life couldn't ever be "normal" without gluten, and doubted my ability to re-create her favorite foods after her celiac diagnosis. After a rough CGM go round, I was sure I wouldn't be able to make a CGM work in this house ever again. When we were faced with the decision to change insulin pumps, I was afraid that I didn't have what it would take to learn how to manage a new insulin delivery system. Along the way, I've managed to send her off to her church classes, a full day of school, sleepovers, and many playdates.
Six years ago, I didn't think any of that would be possible.
Six weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face, if you would have suggested that *I* might be capable of running a mile, much less three.....uphill at that. A full kickboxing class while holding 10 pound weights? Never. Plyometrics? What are THOSE?
So, when I showed up for traveling class this week...and Kelly told us to "go pick out our rock"...I immediately began looking for a pebble. A traveling class while carrying a rock? Not me. No way. Besides, a pebble is a rock, right?
And then my friend, handed me one. "It's a good shape. You can kind of hold it close."
"Yeah. But it feels so heavy. That's a lot of rock to carry. I'm just not sure I can do this."
Before I had a chance to decide for sure if it was the right rock for me, Kelly was giving us the signal.
Period. That's it. No leisure walk to build up steam. Just a simple "Let's go.", and we were off...rocks in tow.
Kind of like learning that you're child has Type 1 Diabetes. There's no choice in learning how to calculate carbs, poke fingers, give insulin shots, and a million other things that go along with coping with this diagnosis. "Let's go." That's it.
Running, running, (walking), running, running, (walking)...up streets, down streets....throwing our rocks down a hill then running down after it, charging back up the hill, repeat, repeat, repeat...more running (walking)...
A little over 4 miles later, Kelly told us to put our rocks down.
And then we ran about another half a mile -- uphill -- without it. Even though it wasn't in my arms any longer, I still felt it there. I definitely felt lighter, but still had a sense of where I had been holding it...and I almost missed it. My arms felt kind of empty without it. I was really tired, and it felt good to leave it behind for this last leg of our workout, but I knew it was waiting for me.
By the time I got to the top of the hill, I wasn't a happy camper.
In fact, I was mad. I was mad that I was so tired. I was mad that I was so out of breath. I was mad that my foot was hurting. I was mad at the decisions I've made that led to this blob of a person I've become. I was mad that diabetes has invaded our life. Mad. MAD!
I honestly didn't think I could go on.
I was walking down the last part of the hill, thinking to myself that I would just walk to my van and leave. No one would notice, right? (Nevermind that the group was gathering in the parking lot behind my van.) I'll just leave my stupid rock, and go home. Stupid me for thinking I could do any of this.
I was wallowing in my own angry lake of fury, when I heard someone whisper beside me "Come on. You can do it. You can run the rest of the way." That one voice turned out to be an entire group circled around me. I couldn't run and hide in a different direction. They were all there. My fellow BodyBack Mamas surrounded me from every angle. And they weren't leaving me behind. They weren't going to let me cross that finish line alone....or give up. I'm quite sure some of them were running in place just to stay beside me.
I finished strong.
As strong as I could, anyway.
It felt good to leave the anger behind. It felt good knowing I wasn't alone.
After a little quiet time, I gathered up my stuff to head home.
Not to forget my rock.
Diabetes has become a rock that I must carry. I choose the way I'll carry this rock. Sometimes it rests in the corner of one arm, then the other, over my head, wrapped with both arms against my chest.
Sometimes I want to throw the rock as far as I can...but I must always go pick it up and move on. Sometimes, I hold the rock close...thankful it's there, because it means my daughter is alive. Now and then I can laugh at the rock. Everyday I rely on other people who are carrying similar rocks.
A time will come that I'll be able to put this rock down, but it will always be there.
One day she'll have to choose how to carry this rock. I hope she'll pick a way that fits her well. When she's sure that she can't go any further, I'll come alongside her and whisper in her ear that I believe in her. I'll run in place beside her, and I won't let her give up.
It is my prayer that she'll finish strong.
Body Back is a results based workout program for moms of any age. Inspired by the DVD series, it offers high intensity, interval workouts along with before and after fitness assessments, a nutrition plan, coaching and support in a motivating and inspirational program. The workouts have been clinically proven in a University research study to help moms lose the weight and get their pre-baby body back. Moms all over the country are achieving results that they never dreamed possible. 100% of the weight lost was pure body fat! You will see that anything is possible!