I'm A Hero

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Runs Away To Help Herself and Others

I am that running girl you see on cool mornings or near dusk evenings in your neighborhood or local gym. Sometimes I am quiet and unassuming, while other times dripping with sweat and sometimes singing along with my iPod. I am the girl who at one point weighed 280 lbs and thought her life was over. Yes,  I was soo wrong about that one! First half of my forties were the hardest, second may be harder, but soo much more fufilling! Read on and see why:

 Thanks to an asthma clinic in Chicago, some well-meaning "suggestions", and the death of my mother, along with my sincere desire to feel healthier, it all changed. Not over night, but over a period of six years, progress has been made. Sure I would like to be a slinky size 6 or even happy size 8, but that is not what I am about at the moment. My goal is to successfully run a marathon before the age of 50. I have about five years to do this. In the "long run" I believe it is possible. Recently I have successfully completed three 5k races and have made healthy eating a priority. Who knew that I would give up a 24 year smoking habit and become a better vegitarion. My diet used to consist of beer, cheese pizza, fancy coffee drinks and cake. Vegetables were to be avoided.

I have had my share of setbacks in this process to. My over eager attitude has me sitting out from running for another week, due to some soft tissue damage in my ankle and knee. This is why I thought  about starting the blog. Another setback happened, but was another helpful part of my story. One of my dear friends from college started doing Cross-Fit. Thank you Diane, because it made me discover what I truly love: running. Anyway Cross-Fit is just like the old school way of working out in a gym: weightlifting, running, jumping, etc. I tried it out to. Unfortunately it wasn't right for me,but it worked out really well for her and many others. Unfortunately, I had a series of tears in my chest wall leading to chondritus and a visit to the heart doctor for an abnormal stress test. He told me to cut out the lifting period and do some light cardiovascular exercise or expect to die earlier than I would like. He also went on on to tell me that I needed to lose weight, not for looks, but for my joints and for the osteo-arthritis that was not so slowly taking over my spine and hips. He was able to prescribe gentle exercise at the local gym and get me an affordable rate. I had some hope brewing in me.

My first class was water aerobics. It is still taught by a young man with loud music and helpful insight. I was so nervous, this was the evening version of the same class my mother loved and attend with fervent regularity. This was a class for women and men of a certain age who needed to work out, but didn't have the endurance for doing it on land. I realized with heavy heart, my once super healthy aerobized butt was gone and that I was starting all over. I loved it from day one. It felt awkward discovering gravity for the first time when leaving the pool, but it got easier. I still love to goto water aerobics when my schedule allows for it. The people I met in that class are wonderful!

 Other classes came and went. Did some Zumba and Yoga, but what really stuck was walking on the Treadmill. As a young woman I could walk for hours and run a little bit. I say a little because my asthma was not controlled at the time. Wild fits of coughing were a regular occurrence. Now days thanks to an emergency visit to Stroger Emergency Room (formerly Cook County Hospital) on the south side of Chicago when I started  to turn blue I  was now equipt with an emergency inhaler and admittance to their asthma clinic for care. That ER visit was almost 7 years ago. If you ever want to to see real life go there on a Friday or Saruday night. You will come out of there a different person, but I digress. Back to the treadmill, I could now walk for 30 minutes and then up to 50 and so on. I wanted to try for something different. Who has two hours to spend at the gym? 

I ran for five whole minutes after walking for 30 minutes. My lungs ached and I was wheezing, but in my crazy discount nikes I started something that has continued to enthrall, anger and challenge me even today as I write this. I, Stacy Frett ran for five minutes that day. Five minutes turned into 7, then 10, 15, 20, 30, 35, then 45 minutes of sweating buckets of and at least two puffs on the inhaler. I was a running girl!

 Keep reading for updates on my progress and my latest venture: Hero for St. Judes Hospital:" St. Jude Heroes are an exclusive group of dedicated athletes committed to raising funds for the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital"