The Seventeenth Tuesday: We Talk About Pulling Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps

I was unsure of what the expression was, to be honest. I was going to say “picking yourself up by your laces.” Thank God for Google. I’ve been thinking about ordering the Alexa or that Ok Google thingy because I am constantly picking up my phone to type my questions into Google. So what better way to become even more lazy and skip the whole using my fingers to type step than to have something that I can just speak to. Hey, aren’t our parents always telling us to get off our phones and have an actual conversation?

Anyway. This post is not about that. It is about pulling myself up by my bootstraps, or in this case, my running shoelaces.

When it started to get cold, I stopped running. It is a big regret I have, considering I have a treadmill in my basement, and by the beginning of December I was up to running five miles without even wanting to keel over and pass out when I was finished. I was in shape for probably the first time since field hockey season in high school. But I hate treadmills and I also hate the cold, so stopping just seemed like the natural thing to do. Instead, I traded in my running shoes for a yoga mat.

And then came January. Where I traded in my in-person yoga classes for some lady on YouTube. Not the same.

I will admit that morale was low in January. I will admit that I went out to eat. A lot. I will admit that I ate things I should not have been eating, not only because of the diet restrictions I have, but also because of just health in general. Aside from my eating habits going awry, I was in a funk. Between losing my hair, the cold weather, and just being so bored, I felt I was not myself.

Everything was starting to catch up to me.

Not only do I miss my friends, but I miss just having a life, and although I try not to be jealous of what other people have and what they can do, I was straight out green with envy that everyone was going out and I was at home. FOMO to the max. And I know that no one is doing it intentionally, but I felt left out. I felt like everyone’s lives are moving on and I’m just here, knitting hats. How stupid, considering I physically should not be going out. And I’m suppose to avoid public transportation at certain times and I don’t know whose been sick or had the flu and you just don’t know things and there’s only a couple more weeks of this to go and I hated that one time I had to stay overnight in the hospital and I just want to avoid any more surprises, ya know?

I digress. January was just a month-long pity party that I threw for myself. And that’s not me. That’s not the positive attitude that I swore by in the months before January, the attitude that propelled me forward, that helped me wake up every day and get out of bed. It’s not the attitude that got me through my worst days of chemo. It’s not the attitude I want to have.

So, I told myself to snap out of it. Easier said than done. But I’m trying.

So yesterday, I put on my running shoes, laced them up nice and tight, and hopped on the treadmill. And I just walked. And then today, I put on my running shoes again and got on the treadmill. And I walked faster. And then I jogged. And then I ran (ok, like according to that doctor that I saw back in August, remember her, it was probably still a jog but whatever). I ran for one whole mile. It was not an easy mile; my heart was beating in my ears, I wanted to vomit, and then I got a charlie horse, but it was a mile none the less. And I am damn proud of myself for that.

For me, running has always been hard. And going through chemo, it is even harder!!!!! Because you run for however many days when you’re feeling well and then you get chemo and you’re just out of commission until your stomach gives you permission to live your life again. So your flow gets totally thrown off. But I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. I’ll get back to that five mile mark in time, and hopefully I’ll pass it. I have visions of running a half marathon because nothing says “you’re a boss” like a participation medal and one of those silver space-looking blankets they thrown on you when you cross the finish line.

It’s not about the distance though (how cliché), it’s about how I motivated myself to actually put on my sneakers, walk into the basement and get my tiny legs moving. I’m snapping out of it because it was noticeable to me how different I felt. I had less energy, I was negative, my sleep patterns were horrendous and I just felt bleh. February will be a more positive month because why the heck not. I need that positivity to get me through these last two treatments, to get me through March, which will be a whole month of waiting to have my final scan done, and to get me to April, when I will finally know if my roommate has moved out for good.

No more pity parties for this gal. The only parties I see in my future are celebratory ones.

If you wanna snap out of your pity party, here’s a scene from Bridesmaids to help you out

4 thoughts on “The Seventeenth Tuesday: We Talk About Pulling Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps

  1. If you want a running buddy I’m here for you. I would love to run with you (preferably at a slow pace) anytime. Please let me know. You have been so inspirational to me. Leslie Merkelson (Allie’s mom)


  2. I had no idea you were a runner, I’ve been a slug all winter and just yesterday went for a swim to get going on SOMETHING other than rolling off the couch. A few weeks ago I ROTC and put on some snowshoes and huffed and puffed my way around a frozen with snow golf course (where I actually played a round last summer). Then the next day I put those slippery sticks on my feet and did some nordic skiing. I’m not sure it’s really nordic when you basically walk in your skis. Anywho, at least I got off the couch. By the way, my arms are healing from the workout, as we speak. Hang in there Katie. Love ya.


  3. Hi Katie, this is Sara’s mom. I’ve been reading your blog since Annie told me about it. You are a terrific writer- even though the subject matter sucks! Hang in there, you’re almost done! And you’ll be feeling back to yourself and go back to “normal” life before you know if. Just ask Sara!


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