So, when I was a kid I had this quite memorable asthma attack when I was about 7. After that I couldn’t really run around in gym class, going to my grandpa’s cat-coated house was like deep sea diving and no way in hell could I go near my friend’s grenade of a guinea pig.

In college, I did round after round of allergy shots. My environmental allergies became controllable, nay, bearable and I was able to really enjoy physical fitness in the great outdoors.

A while back, I told my doctor I wanted to be as unmedicated as humanly possible — save the birth control — to live a healthier, longer life. She said as long as I had backups in case of emergency and I monitored my triggers, she was fine with me paring down and eventually tapering off.

For someone who was teased in 4th grade gym class for not being able to run (they called me Pokey-hontas, can you guess which Disney movie came out that year?) to all them haterz I say, a fuck you. Even 18 years later. Even now. Because today I ran 9 miles completely unmedicated. My body did not freak out, I did not explode and I did not collapse in a heap. Instead, I really enjoyed the day, took my time and was thankful for all my hardworking joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones and nerve endings.

Growing up with an inhaler, steroids and an allergy to grass you wouldn’t believe, this is a HUGE DEAL. I had conditioned myself into believing that I could never run a mile (the highlight of my 4th grade gym teacher’s year) and conditioned myself into thinking that some things were just impossible. Then I had conditioned myself into thinking someday, some things could be possible with help and a serious pharmacy bill. But now I know that anything is possible as long as you’re willing to work for it.

It came slowly. Days of feeling like I was going to die (the Warrior Dash being the most recent example) and days where I felt like it was a breeze (the Color Run). But now I’ve learned that even the hard days have their lessons and above all else, I have to listen to my body. It’s smarter than I am. And when it’s ready to rally all I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I’m thankful for my body. I relish its completely unassisted achievements. And I don’t care how long it takes me, as long as I finish. 13.1 in 11 days everyone! Now I’m going to fall into bed.

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