To my faithful readers at Tala’s Reflections, I thank you for the last 3 years of support. I will continue to maintain it for it’s own purpose, which is primarily about life with Lupus, but it was time to move on to a new phase in my life as well. I hope you all will find as much of value here and stay involved. I also hope to see a lot of new viewership.
Over the last year I have been through a lot of changes. It’s been a very difficult year at times, and a very painful one as well. Time of testing or not, it left me exhausted at certain points, and demotivated. Like all of the other turning points in my life however, I had to make a decision not to dwell in that place, and when I look back at it.. it’s not the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through. A lot of things are what you make of them, and I am choosing not to make this year a negative experience. When the dust settles, you can see clearly who the real supporters, friends, and trustworthy partners in life are. Take your lessons and wisdom from that and move on. Forgiveness does not necessarily include forgetfulness.
So what am I doing here? Well, talastracks is my Twitter name – yes, I have an account. It seemed a fitting name to use here as well. I’ve decided to step up my push for fitness a little more and raise my goals. I realized over the last few months that I let some things slip from my fingers that I didn’t have to when I got sick. Back in 2005, I had decided on a lofty hiking goal that I had mulled over repeatedly most of my life. In 2006 Lupus came into my life with a crash, and nothing outside of the pain and incapacitation mattered to me. After that year – most of which I have no real memories of, except all of the Dr visits, pain, and medication – I simply accepted a level of defeat. Nothing seemed attainable anymore, except to possibly get back to where I could care for myself and my home at a mundane level. There is nothing mundane on the inside of me that lines up with that image, but it seemed like all that I could do. I was completely petrified of going back to being unable to stand up and walk for months on end again. I still fight that fear impulse 7 years later, every time I feel a telltale twinge in my back. The difference now is that I fight it. Rather than let it stop me from doing anything, I deal with it and keep moving as best as I can when it comes. I get through it. This year however brought about a deeper realization. I’ve been stuck halfway.
In 2006 I was at rock bottom. Incapacitated and exhausted, I gave up. I really felt like that was it for me, for my life.. it would never improve. At some point, with the TV as my only connection to anything, I listened to Montel Williams talking about his battle with MS, and watched his progress and determination to not let it rule his choices… and it got to me. I did climb up from of that mental pit, and I really thought that I was out. This year it became clear to me that I was only about halfway up that ladder, enjoying the fact that I could see light again, and I had stopped climbing. I was still holding onto the words of others that there were limitations – that it didn’t get any better, and it would get worse. When I was attending a school in Oklahoma about 25 years ago, I learned something that I have to remind myself of today. “Don’t let the cheers or the jeers get to you.” It’s nice to have encouragement, and I welcome it. It should however never become a platform on which to rest. It should not seem indicative that you have arrived anywhere. We have to always be striving to be a better version of self than yesterday. Face forward and take a step, even if it is just one. I see now where I have been stuck, and it’s both mental and physical. So now I’m unstuck and back on the right track.
I reset my goal for the Half Dome trail in Yosemite. I am giving myself 4 years to train. If it happens sooner, awesome, but I am allowing for the greater amount of time it takes to train muscles as a Lupus patient. I have a ways to go. My thought has been for a while now that my window of opportunity had closed. It hadn’t. I slammed it shut.
Between now and then, there are going to be a lot of other hikes and adventures to add to my already long list from years past. So here is where I will share about it. If you have Facebook, you can also connect with me there on my page called Mariposa Climes. I dedicated it to featuring stories about athletes, adventurers, and inspirational figures of all kinds that are challenged with illness, injury, or disability. “Like” the page and stay updated.
My list of health conditions is not short: Systemic Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (heart condition), Dysautonomia with Orthostatic Hypotension, Degenerative Disc Disease/Osteoarthritis, Migraine Disease, and an assortment of injuries from years of dance and being avid about the outdoors and physical activities. I am standing here today with it all to say, SO WHAT? Pain is inevitable. Sooner or later, it touches all of us. Suffering is optional.