Living With a Health Problem? Accept That It's OK to Scale Back – Just Don't Quit! by Stacie Ast-Kutzbach
October 15, 2015: I was told at 40 years old that I had early onset Parkinson's disease. I had always been active and enjoyed running. This meant a new normal.
After several months of a denial and acceptance rollercoaster, I accepted that my body would be moving on its own and at a much slower pace. I decided that in addition to medication, exercise was going to be vital. I would keep running until I couldn't.
I have always had a full marathon on my bucket list. After training for months this year, it became apparent after two half marathons that the full marathon I had registered for was not going to happen. However, I ran the half marathon of that race and loved every minute of it. I decided to no longer do any more halves (I've completed seven). So deciding to stick with 5ks and 10ks and keep the dopamine flowing through my challenged receptors was freeing!
We live a society where more is better. But that's not necessarily healthy. When I allowed myself to say it's OK that I can't do this, I ran a very slow, but the most enjoyable, 13.1 miles of my life. I am now very much looking forward to enjoying my runs and giving myself the permission to let my body decide, not my mind.
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