What Is Next? A Major Change and My Battle with UC #1

So A few weeks ago I hinted at a major change in my plan for my future… well I finally think it is time to get it out there. Most of my family, friends, teammates, and finally coach already know but it feels more absolute to type it out for all to see and keep on record.

Lets start with Freshman year of High School (yes that long ago) I came to New Orleans for Spring Break with my mom and fell in LOVE with the city. It is such a cool place and I just felt like I belonged. I started looking into colleges and found Tulane right in the Uptown area and was a great school. Three years later I was applying and went down for a visit. I ended up with a meeting with the track coach and got a position on the XC/TF team and obviously accepted to the school.

That spring, during track season, I met Shane. I was introduced to him as a potential prom date and had no idea I would easily fall in love with him. I knew he was going to the Naval Academy that summer (plebe summer) and we just took everything a day at a time; neither of us knew it would go this far. Before he went in for plebe summer we talked about things and decided to give the whole distance thing a shot… just a month into “officially” dating. I was offered a full ride to UMD for running but knew my dream had been Tulane and just had to give it a shot instead of always wondering what if.

Well that first year was HARD. Distance is not easy, I had a great fall XC season but ended up hurt early into Indoor Track and just felt alone at school. My expectations of college had changed so much since I started running. I had no desire to take part in the whole drinking and staying out late scene and only had a few close friends.

I almost transferred that summer for a couple different reasons, partly money (Tulane is expensive) and honestly I wanted to go back to MD. I gave my dream of Tulane and shot and decided it wasn’t everything I thought it was going to be… there was someone more import to me. Well, my coach got my the scholarships necessary (that I earned through my running) and I went back in the Fall in great shape. It was easy to be happier that fall because I was in a more civilized dorm room, I had more links in the area, and I was running great and traveling frequently, and just more used to being away from home in a long distance relationship…

Indoor Conference Championships 2013
Indoor Conference Championships 2013

Until I got sick. Really sick. It wasn’t as bad during the fall (2012) and almost completely went away when I went home for Christmas break but by the time I returned to school and started heavily training my UC (didn’t know what at the time) was in full force. I did not run during that outdoor track season and focused on getting a diagnosis and getting better. I went home for the summer and relaxed in order to get better. My symptoms went away for 1-2 months over the summer but as soon as I came back to school and the stress of school and running was back I went into a downward spiral.

I had my worst flare up and hit my rock bottom to date. The flare up lasted months. I felt awful, I was running awful, every night I woke up 5-10 times, I was running to the bathroom all the time, and was all around miserable. My last XC race (regionals) was the worst. I was up almost all night long going to and from my bed to the bathroom. By the time morning came around I felt terrible. My stomach hurt all of breakfast, I felt week, and when we went to warm up at the meet I got light headed and dizzy. Our team only had 5 runners there and we needed 5 to score. I was crying walking up to the start line but knew I had to just cross the finish line for my team.

Post Race... I was able to recover pretty fast from my emotional/mental rock bottom pretty fast due to an overall upbeat personality
Post Race… I was able to recover pretty fast from my emotional/mental rock bottom pretty fast due to an overall upbeat personality

After that race I felt terrible during the days leading up to Thanksgiving. I wasn’t sleeping much at night and I got such awful stomach cramping, shortness of breath, pain breathing and with every bite of food I took that I almost drove myself to the hospital one night but didn’t think I had enough energy/alertness to make it there safely. Looking back I could’ve just called my coach or TEMS (on campus ambulence/assistance) but I was so out of it that night. It was then that I went on ¬†prednisone for the first time and that helped a ton! The above symptoms immediate got better and within a week or so the bleeding stopped. I was home for Thanksgiving at this point which helped…

I’m going to break this up into two posts so stay tuned! I’m sorry to end at such a low point but it gets better and I am a lot more upbeat today than I was then!

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