Thursday, April 19, 2012

"A Fight to Remember" and An Overwhelming Day

Wow, wow, wow. Yesterday The CrossFit Journal posted my article, "A Fight to Remember." Here is the link. It is about my mom's struggle with Alzheimer's Disease, and why I changed my lifestyle in order to keep Alzheimer's at bay. It was also posted on The CrossFit Journal's facebook page and their Twitter account. (I must admit right now that I have never been on Twitter, but that a friend of mine let me know that piece of info.) I did not even know that it was posted on any of these sights until a friend of mine had told me. Immediately, I checked the sights, including trying to figure out Twitter, although unsuccessfully, and was immediately overcome with emotion. I somehow reposted my friend's post of my article, my head in a complete whirl. I frantically try to call my husband, but it goes straight to voicemail. I am in a tizzy.

Comment after comment on facebook. E-mails from friends and family. Recognition from the local Alzheimer's Association. Comments on The CrossFit Journal. Private messages on facebook. Posts on my facebook wall. Phone calls. It is all so very overwhelming.

I decided over a year ago that I was going to write an article and submit it to The CrossFit Journal. It was on my goal list. When I made the goal, I wasn't sure what I was going to write about. I only knew the immense positive impact that CrossFit had had on my life. The idea came to me while I was taking a shower. Over and over people tell their stories. They tell how CrossFit has changed their lives. There are many stories about people who continue to do CrossFit through cancer, losing limbs, and fighting their own battle with obesity. There were no articles about how one uses CrossFit to fight through a mental challenge, a disease such as Alzheimer's.

There it was, I had my idea. Now I had to write it. It took me over a year to get this article to where it is today. You see, it has been painful to write. I had to constantly relive the things that I hated so much. Losing my mom as I knew her, the stories that she created, the daily grief that I endure. It is all very exhausting. So, I would write, ask my friend and my Dad to look over and edit it, and then I had to put it away. Sometimes for months, sometimes just days. Then I would be back at it. I would be adding stories and trying to dig deeper into the story and my emotions. I had to be totally prepared, every time that I sat down to write, to cry, be angry, yet find inspiration.

Now here it is, in all its glory. And it seems almost surreal. It is still powerful, even to me, and I have read it hundreds of times. What is even more powerful is the feedback that I have received. I do not have words for that. Family, friends, and even strangers have taken the time to read my article and then respond to it. People have posted and reposted it in order to share it on facebook. And the I guess it is hard for me to realize how I have impacted others. The things that people said about me are overwhelming. They are overwhelmingly kind.

So, what I am trying to say is, thank you. Thank you to everyone. Those who helped along the way. Those who have offered support in my everyday life. Thank you to those who inspire me. Thank you to those who have taught me what not to do. And thank you for all of the feedback. Without any of these people, this article never would have been created. Not only that, this experience has helped me to see how I have impacted others.

I am really trying to accept all of this kindness and support with grace. Inevitably, I end up in tears. Tears of pain, from reliving my own words. Tears of sorrow for all of the others that have also had to deal with this awful disease. Tears of thankfulness, to my Dad and my friend Jennifer for all of their help. Tears of humility, from the pure love that I have felt. And tears of pride because I did it, I finally did it.

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