Nine years later

Happy Veterans Day:

This time nine years ago I was preparing to go to #bootcamp. From sunny ☀️ #florida I made the trip to #chicago to spend 10 weeks in boot camp. Yep I was there through the winter. After a bunch of immunizations, cafeteria food, and marching through #snow ❄️, three wisdom teeth extractions, and a chronic cold that turned into a sinus infection. . . My legs started to give out. We all assumed shin splints, a few days marching in these shoes right here to give my shins a break from the boots. But it didn’t help. I pushed through my end of boot camp finals and past but the pain didn’t stop. After boot, I went on to schooling. I was placed limited duty, and the medication trial and error began. The extensive labs, medical tests, arguments with doctors and looks of disapproval or disbelief ensued for years. Family, friends, co workers. . . All of them couldn’t fathom -and many didn’t care to try-

Living with an invisible disease is the more discouraging, self worth crushing, dream crushing thing I have ever lived through. Everything hurt, all the time. That soreness after a three hour workout, plus the sunburn from a week at the beach, plus delivering a kid, plus stepping in an ant pile, while mosquitoes attempted to fly around and bite. . . That’s what I had. If you laughed or danced for a min or went to a theme park- you were lying about the pain. But the truth is some days you have enough guts to know you’ll be bed ridden for a week but God forbid you be stuck locked in your #home another moment without hope for the #future. And eventual it got to the point where the doctors had nothing left to say. According to their tests I was great. Their drugs had terrible side effects and many were rules useless by their tests but they promised it would help. No they don’t, they don’t help! So I choose to fight for myself, my life and my kids. With the same passion I brought to my fooor routine as a competitive #gymnast. With the same selfless desire to serve and #bravery to take on the world that brought me into the military, with the same trust in my body to have two children naturally I stood up for myself and said NO & found plants #hopeforthefuture

Nine years later, I pulled this pair out of my sea bag and began. It’s not a marathon yet, but it’s a future filled with hope and a purpose.