Endometriosis: How it led to a Happier and Healthier New Me
At fourteen years old, I was adjusting to high school classes, learning the ropes of my lacrosse team, and starting to figure out who I was. Though I wasn’t particularly unhealthy, my health definitely wasn’t one of my top priorities. I continually told myself “I’ll eat less junk food tomorrow”, “I’ll push myself harder in practice tomorrow”. “Tomorrow” kept getting pushed back further and further.
All of that abruptly changed when I started experiencing symptoms of endometriosis. The pain began to control my life; I rarely got out of bed, and struggled to eat even a few pieces of toast. Thankfully I received surgery and hormone treatment, and slowly began to improve my health. I realized my body felt so much better when I ate well balanced meals, and minimized processed foods in my diet. I had energy to explore and enjoy life, something I had missed for many months. With this new found energy, I started to take long distance running seriously, and realized I have quite the passion for it.
Amidst doctor appointments and long school days, I always made time to run. Running was my escape from reality, escape from my pain. Physical exercise releases endorphins, which are known to decrease and in some cases relieve chronic pain. I eventually found a treatment that alleviated all of my endometriosis symptoms, but I still continue to run and employ healthy diet choices because I learned how awesome it makes me feel. Running helped me transition from hating my body for having a disease I felt was out of my control, to loving my body for the amazing feats it can perform. By continuing to keep a well-rounded diet, I’m able to fuel my passion for running.
2014 was an amazing year for me, as I really showed my transition full circle. It was the year I found myself symptom free, and also proved to be healthy and strong enough to finish my first marathon. I am in awe everyday of how much my body is capable of, and I believe I would never have reached this destination had I not struggled with endometriosis.