when you’re body literally stops you, listen

I am not quite feeling myself. On Saturday night I couldn’t stand up without throwing up. I know, too many details. And no, there was not a single sip of alcohol involved. It was ugly, not fun and I don’t think I moved from the couch for an entire 36 hours.

Listening to our bodies is something others might not understand as well as Crohn’s patients. This is potentially because as a Crohn’s patient, sometimes our bodies scream a little louder than others. Perhaps this is simply because we are more sensitive to what our bodies are saying.

It made me think about what I’m putting into my body and how it’s making my body feel. Nearly four years ago when I was first diagnosed and in an great amount of discomfort I didn’t think about what I put into my body. I just thought about how quickly it would make me feel better.

This doesn’t just apply to medications, it’s foods and supplements and beverages.

While it may seem that my rambling makes no sense so far… I promise I’m getting to the point.

I was a shy girl, always. Growing up I never raised my hand in class. I had boys tease me in school for being mute. I was incredibly self conscious of my surroundings, what I wore and how I acted. It didn’t seem unnatural, it was just who I thought I was.

There are things I would never change. I am the young woman I am today because of the heartbreaks, the aches and pains and the multitude of doctors appointments.

And on Saturday, I actually felt the change.

I stood on a stage in front of a microphone. I spoke as the Master of Ceremony for the Take Steps Rhode Island walk.


Hands down I would have NEVER agreed to such a title four years ago. Hands down four years ago I would have NEVER predicted I would ever accept such a title.

I walked up to the microphone, thinking I hadn’t even been nervous, and my knees started to shake immediately. As I spoke I looked into a crowd of people from those who were newly diagnosed to those that have been living with the disease for decades. I saw friends and family who were there to support these patients. I saw volunteers who were there just for the day to help. A united group gathered for one purpose. To raise awareness for a cause that was so close to all of our hearts. Although I would be remiss to mention that we were also there to fundraise to fuel research to find this cure that someday we will find.


This was my second year attending the Take Steps walk in Rhode Island. I was a volunteer last year and just like this year I woke up at a very early 5:30am for a Saturday morning and drove to Rhode Island. Last year, I was introduced to Beth. A quick hello and Facebook friend request later, we have been connected ever since.

It was my privilege to introduce Beth on stage at this year’s walk as the Adult Honored Hero. And it reminded me why I love this community so much.


One small introduction becomes a lifelong friend.

A friend that understands things that no one else does. Not that we aren’t surrounded by loved ones who care unconditionally for our well-being, but these friends are fellow patients and we understand without words. And that connection is something that is instant.

I came home from this high, and my body crashed. A sign you should never take a moment for granted. Never assume a new drug will work better than an old one. Never assume that since you are feeling great, you will never not feel great again.

That is the reason I volunteer. That is the reason ever since I sat in my first Team Challenge meeting back in August of 2012, and I agreed without hesitation to run a half marathon having never run more than a 5K. I knew instantly I had found my community.

In those three years I have found myself. I found this woman who no longer accepts the answer “this will help with your symptoms”. I found the person who no longer accepts that 36 hours on the couch is an acceptable way to spend the weekend.

I fight because we all deserve to feel good. We all have the right to follow the dreams we want to follow. And I won’t give up fighting until we all have the opportunity to feel good.

I am running with Team Challenge Lite (to clarify I am running a 5K, not quite ready to jump back into half marathons) in three weeks. Even if I don’t run fast and even if I have to walk, there is a patient out there that sits in a hospital. I walk with Take Steps because there is a patient out there that needs to meet other patients who feel just like they do.

I am again hosting a fundraiser this Fall on November 8 (details to follow), because I believe there is a cure out there and we need the research to find it. I believe that at thirty years old I shouldn’t be asked if I’m a nurse because I have so much medical knowledge, I shouldn’t have to explain to a date why my doctor visits shouldn’t be a concern to our future dates, and I shouldn’t have to take so much time off because I have so many appointments. It’s just not the way life should be.

This year is extra special because not only am I raising money for a cause I believe in, but one lady that I believe in more than anymore… my mom… will be running her first half marathon with Team Challenge in February and I am beyond thrilled to see her take on this challenge!

Mom and I - November 11, 2012

I know we all have causes that are close to our hearts, this is mine.

Oh, and one more thing… we all have the potential to be anything we want to be. There is the potential to find anything, anyone sets their mind to. NEVER think it’s NEVER going to happen.

the running shoes are back…

I have not run a race since March 2014. To be honest, that may have been the last time I really put my running sneakers on.

Granted, I haven’t been sitting on my couch doing nothing for the past year and a half. I have put sneakers on. I walk. I walk with Mom. I walk with Lexi. I stand and watch (cheer on!) other people running. But I have not gone out running.

My second half marathon was in June 2013 and it kind of kicked my butt. Instead of attending the infamous Second City in Chicago, with not only my teammates but my best friend who came to cheer me on, I lay in bed clenching my head to stop the throbbing. I had the worst migraine. I beat some 27 minutes off my half marathon time but that didn’t seem to matter when I could barely move, I couldn’t eat and I needed complete silent darkness.

Not to mention I had this growing pain in, what I thought was, my IT band and I decided that running and I need to slow down.

I had dreams of running a sub 30-minute 5K before my 30th birthday and I focused on that. I tried to sign up for one race a month and for six months or so I was actually doing pretty well. My best time was just over 32 minutes and I had just under a year to kick 2 minutes off my time – no big deal.

But my IT band has different opinions. Or my SI joint. Jury is still out as to what is actually bothering me. But something from my butt to my knee hurt.

I’ve seen a massage therapist, a chiropractor. I’ve had cortisone shorts and ultrasounds. I took time off from running. I tried yoga. Yet, no one has any real good reason why it hurts or what I can do to make it feel better.

It’s a pain that is there every day. I’ve almost become used to the pain that I don’t even acknowledge it’s there.

Ironically, when I decide that I’m ready to lace up my running sneakers again… my IT band/SI joint/pain in my ass (literally!) hurts more than ever.

But a little pain never stopped me before. And I’m not going to let it stop me now!

So, I signed up for a race. With my FAVORITE people!

While I have considered myself to be a part of the TC CT family for over a year now. (I have volunteered for three seasons and even held a part time co-manager job this Spring.) This is the first time I am officially, and very proudly, a participant for Team Challenge Connecticut!!

I started this blog back in 2012 when I first started running, I’m happy to lead this blog back to running!

Join me on this journey as I get back to where I feel my best. My healthiest. With my favorite extended family.

the beauty of the unknown.

I keep telling myself to blog more. I keep telling myself to find something to blog about. I keep telling myself that when I find this “thing” to blog about I will actually sit down and blog.

I am sorry to say I have not yet found that specific all clarifying subject to write about. But in recent days I have really been thinking about blogging and writing and sharing.

I truly love to write. I don’t always do it well. And if you ask me how the copy is going for my own website, I will tell you that I have written it twenty-two different times and I still don’t like it. But this, when I get to write about personal stuff… it’s just me, being me and I guess that’s why I have grown to love writing as me.

Sooo many changes have happened in recent months, it is really hard to sum it all up. But I’m going to try in one, well maybe three sentences.

I had to go off my Crohn’s medication at the end of April. I have been working with several doctors (including a naturopath and a holistic health coach) and I feel better than I have in years, without drugs. I learned to love myself in a way that I never thought was necessary.


Did you catch all that?

And while I hope to write more frequently and not have to sum up the last few months in a few sentences, there is no use recapping the past. So let’s start from now… September 5th.

It is a glorious Saturday morning. I am sitting on the deck in the late morning sun with my laptop and a latte from Starbucks. Lexi is trying to lay next to me but can’t seem to find just the right comfortable position and has abandoned me for the cooler temperatures inside.

Ten years ago if you asked me where I would be at thirty years old I would have never told you single, living alone with a dog in Branford, CT. It just wasn’t the “ideal image” that I had in my head as a young girl.

It’s funny to think when I was ten years younger my ideals weren’t about being an independent woman, it wasn’t about being financial stable or able to take care of this animal that means everything to me. It was about this man, and these imaginary children and some damn picket fence!

Perhaps that is society. Perhaps that is how I grew up. Perhaps in some aspect that still is my ideal, but there is a whole lot more added into that image now.

I can’t go buy a family on the shelves at the grocery store. I can’t purchase online a freelance business that I’ve been trying to brand for six weeks.

It occurred to me the other day, during a class that I have been taking, that it is fear that is holding me back. It isn’t lack of self-love or lack of confidence, although both do play a role. It is when you stop trying so damn hard to make things so absolutely perfect and you just take a leap in a new direction when the actual beauty of life happens. Because, really… is there such thing as perfect timing?

I have become a serial first dater. I have run out of fingers to count how many first dates I have been on in the last six months. I was desperate. I would go out with anyone. I was putting myself out there: online dating, speed dating, blind dating. I was trying so damn hard!!

Finally I reached this breaking point where it just wasn’t fun anymore to sit on dates with men who had no self confidence and needed to buy Groupons to take me out to dinner that I just decided I needed a dating break. I had enough.

I was looking for this feeling. It wasn’t necessarily an image… although if you ask anyone I remotely know they all know I am looking for a tall man… but besides that I wanted a feeling. A feeling of comfort and pure enjoyment at the most simple moments. A feeling that I wasn’t trying so hard to make conversation or that time would pass so I could just end the date, but I wanted to actually enjoy the date that I was on.

Funny thing is… when you stop trying so damn hard, sometimes you find exactly what you are looking for.

And no, I give no details… and don’t ask Mom for details. Let me just enjoy this moment right now.

But the same thing goes for my freelance work. I was so flippin’ scared of publishing a website for myself. I literally signed up months ago and it wasn’t until Thursday night when I said “I’m just doing it” and I actually purchased my domain name.

No, the website isn’t nearly ready yet. But you know that? I’m not afraid anymore. It’s a work in progress. And that’s just how my life is right.

A work in progress.

I don’t know if the natural stuff I am taking, and the new diet (I’m eating meat again! But still gluten free) will be enough to keep me going, but right now I really like where I am with it.

I don’t know if the new man I am talking to will make it to actually meet my family, and get to know my friends, but right now I’m enjoying the text messages that make me giddy.

I don’t know if I’ll have the time to build my freelance business at the moment right now, but I have a website and a dream and I’m just trying to live it one day at a time.

It’s all unknown, but right now… that’s the beauty of it.

for everything there is a reason

I’ve been writing this post in my head for a few days now. It might not come out exactly as I would like, but I’m going to give it a try.

Four years ago, or roughly four years ago, a boss/friend of mine suggested I buy this book. She had the book on her shelf for years and she had referenced it multiple times. And I did just what was suggested, I went out and bought the book.

Funny thing is, the book has sat on my bookshelf for all those years, barely touched. I never read more than a page or two.

And then just two weeks ago, the same book was recommended to me by someone else. Someone who I just met. And I laughed when I told her I already owned the book. Her comment was “Well, you know her story then right?” And I have to confess that I had never read the book.

I suppose this is the whole point of the blog. There are signs in life all the time. Signs we see and signs we are not yet ready to see.

Four years ago I at least knew well enough to buy the book, but I wasn’t ready to open my heart and accept what the book had to offer.

And in all honestly, I’ve still only read the first chapter. But it sits next to my bed and I leaf through it every night and little by little I will get through the book.

I don’t always understand the process of what is happening. Perhaps four years from now, tonight will make a whole lot more sense that it does right now.