Michelle Shares her Incredible Journey and her Battle With Lupus
SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD…
This is my motto now! I believe in myself, and if I believe I can, then I will!
I’ve overcome enough hurdles this last few years to know that!
I originally started running in 2008. I figured it would be a good way to lose weight! And as I’d tried every other form of exercise and never stuck with it, I had nothing to lose. It was before C25K had been invented, so with my hubby’s advice I ran in between lampposts - once it was dark and no one could see me obviously & from that first outing I was hooked!
I signed up for our local Race of Life 5k and over the next few weeks I upped my training and I ran that first race in 37 minutes. The buzz I got from it was amazing, I cried when I finished - but I do cry easily so that’s not really any surprise!
IT WAS SO EMOTIONAL KNOWING I’D STUCK WITH SOMETHING AND ACHIEVED WHAT I WANTED TO DO.
Over the next few years I carried on running, mainly for the enjoyment of it but sometimes I’d enter a race - the bling was very addictive. I ran a few 10k’s and one half. My aim was always to run a marathon but the half was tough and I never got round to it.
I took a few months off in 2015 as I needed a hernia operation, but I healed from it quite quickly and was soon back out there pounding the streets and the doctor said I healed quickly because I did run.
Fast forward to 2016. Everything is rosy. I’ve just ran another 10k, I’ve been out for a 40k bike ride, and a 20k walk over September and I felt fitter and healthier than I had in years! October arrives and I end up in hospital with what I thought was fluid retention. It turned out I have Lupus which - for anyone who doesn’t know - is an autoimmune disease which causes my body to attack itself, and mine went for my kidney. I spent 9 weeks in hospital, had 3 operations in 4 days, lost one of my kidneys, died a couple of times & numerous other things that could go wrong, did. None of which I will bore you with just now as this is about my passion for running.
I came home on 23rd December 2016, just in time to spend Christmas with my family. I could hardly walk, my muscles had all wasted away lying on my back for 9 weeks and I needed 2 walking sticks to get around the house.
I’m a stubborn madam though and had no intention of giving in to this, so I started walking. Very slowly and very short distances and built myself up again. 3 months later I was back in work.
Now Lupus is an odd thing and saps my energy too so working full time was pretty much all I could do to begin with and that was ok for a while. I did gradually get stronger though, with the help of counselling and enough meds to sink a ship, but kept me alive, I started getting itchy feet again!
2018 SUMMER I STARTED RUNNING AGAIN - THIS TIME WITH THE C25K AND BUILT MYSELF UP AGAIN AND ACTUALLY RAN A 10K.
Different things pause my progress! Mainly Lupus, and then recently COVID-19! But I will always get back out there while I can! Running to me is so very important. It’s the most magical feeling being outside without a care in the world, listening to the birds tweeting, and smelling the fresh air, or sea if I make it to the front! It’s my time when I’m normal, when I can do things like normal people. When I’m a woman who runs! I’m not a wife, or a mum, or a daughter or a colleague! And the best thing - I’m not a Lupie! I’m just me! It grounds me, and makes me feel invincible! It’s given me my confidence back! And for that hour or so, it’s the most perfect time! I have to be sensible about it and I’m never going to run a marathon now, I’m never going to be fast or consistent but I still run and that’s enough for me.
I NEED RUNNING IN MY LIFE
I GOT MY BELIEF BACK, AND I WENT OUT AND DID IT
AND I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR DOING IT!
AND A BIT OF BLING STILL MAKES ME SMILE!