Over the past few weeks, we've really been pushing you to join us for the Insane Inflatable 5K. Today, I decided that I would share with you why I decided to do it.

Last year, the II5K came about a few months after my seemingly healthy cousin died of a massive heart attack. After his death, I'd said I was going to work towards taking my health more seriously. And I did. I made modest changes, but when the time for the Insane Inflatable 5K came, I was afraid to do it. The last thing I wanted was to be the one for whom the paramedics came. All my life, I've dealt with asthma.

Asthma runs in my family as well as other allergies. I've even lost loved ones to asthma attacks. At some point, I decided not to have another asthma attack. My solution for this was to stop being physically active.

I know it sounds dumb, but when you hear people laugh and make jokes about your ailment, it becomes something you don't want anyone to know you have. It's never meant maliciously, but it's still embarrassing. So, again, I stopped being active but still ate whatever I wanted.... With a sedentary job.... And a family history of diabetes and heart disease. Smart move, right? (Yes, that was sarcasm.) I didn't have another asthma attack for years. However, I developed a whole different list of ailments from obesity to diabetes.
The sad part is that I knew better. I knew how to eat right. I knew that the chances of me developing diabetes were extremely high because both of my grandmothers had it as did some of their other family members. I developed gestational diabetes while pregnant. Once I delivered my baby, it was gone. Still, I was at risk. I knew it but did nothing to change it.

I would gain weight and lose weight. Add 10 lbs here. Lose 5 lbs there. Then, in January, I was diagnosed as having diabetes. I immediately changed everything and lost 5 lbs the first week. Over the next 3 weeks, I lost 10 more lbs. At 15 lbs down, I decided I could ease up a little. So, I maintained my weight for a month. I recently took a look at the scale and realized that I'm pretty disgusted with my plateau. I know I have more weight to lose, and "taking it easy" isn't the way to get rid of it.

I've been spending more time running around and playing with my daughter when I get home as opposed to "chilling" and unwinding after a hectic day. The more we play, the more I think about the fact that I'm the only mother she has; and although I know my family would take care of her should something happen to me, that doesn't give me a license to be nonchalant about my health. Just as much as I want to be here for her, I want to witness the awesome person she will continue to be as she grows up.

In my youth, I loved playing outside. I'd jump double-dutch with my friends, toss a football with my brothers (although they never wanted to throw the ball to me), I'd climb trees, play volleyball, ride my bike, etc. All of these activities gave me moderate activity. But I allowed my shame over a genetic inheritance stop me from enjoying them. I can't allow that to hold me back anymore. I'll just do what I have to do and carry my pump with me, keeping in mind that the jokes people make are made out of ignorance. Nobody laughs at a cancer patient. So, I never understood why any other ailment that can be fatal would be found to be funny, especially when there's nothing the person did to have the illness except be born. Oh well. It is what it is. THAT will never be another hindrance for me. Now, being active is about more than doing what I enjoy. It's a matter of being healthier and maintaining that health. However, doing things you enjoy still make it easier to exercise. Since I'd look pretty silly playing on the playground like a child now, I am on a quest to find things I'd enjoy.

I know without a doubt that I will probably see the Insane Inflatable 5K as fun as opposed to simply running. So, I'm hoping that this will be my jump start into being more active. After all, diabetes is reversible, AND it's one disease I simply can't afford to have. I'm laughing right now, but I'm serious. I talked to my doctor last month, and she asked how my blood sugar is running.  My reply, "I don't know.  I haven't gotten any test strips or a meter." I refuse to pay for that stuff when this is a disease I don't plan to keep. And I mean that!

Anyway, won't you join me for the Insane Inflatable 5K? Sign up for the 9:30 wave with WTUG and let's reclaim our health and have fun while exercising! Besides, I just MIGHT need somebody on my side to call the paramedics just in case my pump decides to jam. (LOL You know how the things you need most never seem to work when you need them.)

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