All I can Do is Smile

When what you thought was the beginning isn’t actually the beginning at all

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I’ve been in some sort of sport for as long as I can remember. AYSO started at the age of 4, swim team at 7, t-ball and baseball shortly thereafter. There was roller hockey, softball, diving, basketball, flag football, track and field… it didn’t matter what I chose, I just had to have some kind of physical activity on the books.

In hindsight, sports essentially provided cheap child care for my mom, a single parent, made even more beneficial by the fact that after said practice or game, the energy to misbehave was limited.

Soccer and swimming stuck until high school, when my love for music took precedence. My physical activity dwindled in college. I was on the crew team for about half a minute until I realized 4am practices interfered with my ability to go party. Still, I maintained fitness and managed to avoid the freshman 15 by becoming a gym rat and lifeguarding over the summers.

I bring this up for a reason.

I realize I’ve had some sort of base fitness my entire life (thanks, Mom). Even after periods of what I would qualify as “inactivity” — those were never more than a few weeks at a time.

Newsflash: Six months with literally little no to activity… well, what else could I have possibly been expecting when I began to exercise consistently again?

The knee pain started pretty much immediately. I chalked it up to the usual aches and pains of using my body again. When the knee pain didn’t stop, even despite resting, icing, stretching, and any number of other remedies, I finally called my rheumatologist. I’ve been off my RA medications for nearly 3 years and my goal is to keep it that way.

GNBN (good news, bad news): There’s no sign of inflammation to cause concerns and I can stay off my medications as long as I feel good. However. I need to ease up more. Like, a lot more.

Excuse me? I thought that’s what I was already doing.

How do you begin from a place you don’t remember being? The boring and inevitable answer is one hour at a time, one day at a time. I’m spicing it up by trying to be more excited by the process than the end goal. I’m doing the activities I love, and while I still have goals, they are now viewed as benchmarks, versus culminations.

Other updates

  1. Can you believe it’s been nearly a year since my surgery?! Speaking of surgeries (yes, I know I’m the one who brought it up) we’re targeting next summer for the double mastectomy. My new oncologist wants me to wait past the year mark from chemo ending. When we have firmer dates, we’ll share more info.
  2. The December visit with my oncologist went great! Everything looks normal and we’re scheduling a CT scan in mid-January.
  3. We went to Hawaii for Thanksgiving! It was awesome. You know what’s also awesome? Not having to be in surgery for the holidays! #itsthelittlethings

Happy holidays and a very happy new year to all of you. I’d love to send you a New Year greeting (fair warning, it MAY include some NSFW language). I have addresses for many of you, but if you think I might not, pop me a note with your address. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

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3 thoughts on “When what you thought was the beginning isn’t actually the beginning at all

  1. Love you! Be patient my friend

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  2. Awkward back pats, Jess! GNBN 🙂

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  3. There will be an ATV for you to ride from the brunch spot to the farm; you’ll be able to maneuver as you garden before planning meals. The pigs and sheep (maybe goats, but you know I am worried about the destruction) shall also provide food for the cafe and the chickens (which you will take care of cause IDFW birds) shall provide other supplies. So even though things will change, it will still be awesome. Even in real life.

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