I’m a runner, and I’m so proud of that fact. It’s a new part of my identity, you see, because until recently, I would’ve told you that I hated running. I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, and that makes running way more difficult than it is for the average person. For me, running is about so many things. It’s about feeling the freedom that comes from breezing through the outdoor air. It’s about having a healthy outlet for the frustrations and stress in life. It’s about proving that I am stronger than I thought I was. It’s about showing care and love for myself. It’s about proving that my illness doesn’t have to define my life. And it’s about having fun.
Running has allowed me to push myself in ways I didn’t think were possible. I’ve completed three half marathons and finished a triathlon, all the time refusing to be completely defined by POTS. It was a really long journey to get here, involving almost fainting on my first run (oops- talk about trying to do too much too fast!).
I run because I am able to run. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, I have to take extra precautions with my heart and other aspects of health. But, even with all of that, I recognize that one day I may not be able to run any longer. And so, for today, and for as long as I can, I will run. BECAUSE I CAN. And it would be a shame to not take advantage of something so wonderful, frustrating, and beautiful.