Do You Believe in Miracles?
Google defines a miracle as:
A surprising event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of divine agency.
On October 19th, in chilly Brooklyn, New York, I experienced a miracle...I ran my first half marathon.
As someone who grew up with moderate to severe asthma and atopic dermatitis, exercising was always an issue. From the sweat irritating my skin to constantly being out of breath, physical activities were always challenging.
During high school, my dance team and I had to run one mile around our school track before every dance practice. The coach’s intention was to build endurance so that we could perform our dance routines without feeling so much exhaustion. Instead, the coach received a young girl - me - having an asthma attack every time she ran around the track, which would then result in an uncomfortable itching session.
The first time we ran as a team, I was last to finish. I remember feeling ashamed, embarrassed, and envious of the other girls who were able to run without having to worry about being out of breath and itching. After the race, I just created distance with the other girls as I tried to recoup through the use of my inhaler and slowing down my heartbeat to avoid getting even more sweaty.
As time went by and I continued to practice running, my asthma started to get better and so did my eczema. During college, I set up a routine to take my inhaler before every workout to prevent an attack. I also added some tips and tricks to avoid flaring up my skin from all the sweat. (You can find these tips here.)
Over a period of time, I was running 3-4 miles without experiencing severe symptoms. Looking back, this was the seed of hope I needed to run my half marathon.
Because I could
After healing from topical steroid withdrawal (TSW) and being bedridden for over a year, I committed to pushing my body to the extreme. Every year, I would push my self further and further in running. Last year, I ran my first 10K. This year my goal was to run a half marathon. And next year? Can you guess what's my goal?
I began running simply because I could. Because this was something that seemed out of reach - impossible at one point. Running was my way of showing gratitude to God for healing me and allowing me to use my legs comfortably again. It was also my way of commemorating all of those who were/are still suffering from eczema and TSW.
That's why I dedicated all of my runs and metals to my fellow eczema warriors.
What it took
Consistently training for the half marathon was challenging. Regardless of how I felt or how cold it was outside, I got up 3 to 4 times a week to go running. I made sure that I wore loose clothing to allow my skin to breathe each time.
There were so many days when I didn't think I could do it. 13 miles?! That sounded a lot for a person who only ran 3 miles on average in college. But every week, I would push myself one mile further. Remembering where I was, to where I am now, was the motivation I needed to get up and get running.
I honestly don't know if I would have been able to stay consistent and motivated if it weren't for my support system. From my boyfriend to my brother to my fellow eczema warriors who knew my goal, each person inspired me to continue.
The miracle was not that I ran 13 miles. That, I was able to do through consistent training and commitment. The miracle was that I ran 13 miles without one flare-up or asthma attack in sight during or after the race. Now, that's a miracle!
QUESTION: Is there a goal you wish you could accomplish? But feel afraid to because of your eczema and/or asthma? Share with me below!
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