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Rainy Day Thoughts
I hate talking about the weather but also I’m really bummed out about the weather lately. The cold I can handle. It’s the constant gray, sad, overcast skies. Everything is dreary. It’s hard to motivate. And while working from home is great on these days because I don’t have to navigate my way through seas umbrella-armed rage monsters on the New York City sidewalks (seriously, New Yorkers use umbrellas as weapons), it’s also way too tempting to just flop on the couch for a few minutes. Or “work in bed” for an hour. My resistance is strong, but the temptations persist. Every single day.
Anyway. Some non-cloudy things!
I get to see my parents this weekend! Brian and I have always loved going out to the North Fork of Long Island and hitting up all the wineries out there. We have always talked about getting my parents down here (from New Hampshire) to join us, and since Brian’s mom lives out there, we could all go winery hopping together! Our parents haven’t seen each other since our wedding, so it’s going to be super fun. (When we planned this for April, we were hoping it would be warm. But pretty sure we’ll be winery hopping in snow pants at this point.)
You know what’s not annoying me right now? Crohn’s disease. Isn’t that so cool? I’m so grateful it’s left me alone for the past few months. It’s been awesome.
I’m running a half marathon in a few weeks! I’m running the New Jersey Half Marathon, which I loved last year and am excited to run again. Last year I ran it as a check-in leading up to the Brooklyn Half Marathon, which was my goal race. I ended up having a much better day in NJ than I did in Brooklyn — I was super sick by the time Brooklyn rolled around a few weeks later — which proves that New Jersey is the best.
Will you be there? I will! Brian will be there, too, with Ellie! She is a great spectator. My friend Laura is running the marathon, so I’ll be hanging out for a bit after I finish (unless she beats me to the finish line, that is), and I finally get to meet my internet friend Danielle IRL, because she’s running the marathon, too. I’m under-trained and over-excited, so it will be a good day.
On the workout front! Orangetheory most weekdays, an outdoor run on the weekend, and a rest day. In the past, I’ve never had an issue getting out for a run when it’s nasty out. But this year? It has crushed me. My motivation to run has been so nonexistant. Orangetheory is warm and dry, so I tend to gravitate there instead. I’m hoping to get in a 10-ish mile run over the next few days for a little confidence boost leading up to NJ.
Meanwhile, behind the microphone… I love podcasting! You knew that already, but I’m really loving where the Ali on the Run Show is going. (It’s on Spotify now, by the way!) I cannot wait to announce details for the first-ever LIVE SHOW, so stay tuned for that next week. (The announcement, not the show. That’s happening this summer!) I promise it’s going to be so good, and I hope you can all come. Bring your families, friends, running buddies, and significant others!
If you aren’t sick of my voice yet, I’ve been a guest on a few great podcasts recently! For your listening enjoyment…
- I was on Patients Have Power, talking about how I handle my Crohn’s disease.
- I was on Runner’s Connect’s Run to the Top podcast, talking about running, Brian, Crohnsing, and podcasting.
- And I was on my friend Tory’s show, An Excellent Example of Being Human, talking about literally everything. Tory asked some really great, thought-provoking questions, which was awesome.
Finally, if you’re running the Boston Marathon (YAY YOU!), make sure you listen to this episode of the Ali on the Run Show with Desi Linden, and this one with Molly Huddle. My dream Boston women’s podium would be Desi, Molly, and Deena. (Normally Shalane would be on there, but she just won NYC and got to be in a beer commercial, so I don’t know. But also this is probably her last marathon, so maybe I do want her on the podium?) I also think Jordan Hasay will be up there because she’s such a fighter. So many amazing women! And that’s just a few of the pros — everyone is amazing! Yay running! (Clearly I got over those rainy day blues that were plaguing me 45 seconds ago… One day the exclamation point key on my keyboard is just going to collapse into itself.)
MasterChef Junior is the best show on TV. (Not a debate.)
Speaking of TV, remember when Scandal was good? What is that show even about anymore? I can’t root for anyone because they are all so awful. Olivia? Awful. Murderer. Mellie? Kind of seems like a bad president. Jake? MURDERED JAMES NOVAK. Dead to me forever. Abby? Fine, but needs a stronger spine. Cyrus? Rowan? Kill them both. Quinn? Who is taking care of your baby? You know who I miss? Susan Ross. She was cool. Everyone else is terrible.
Finally, a general life update. I’ve talked a bit here, on Instagram, and on my podcast (this boozy episode, namely) about some relatively heavy-to-me stuff I was feeling over the past few months. So it’s no secret that last year was hard. The spring was lovely, but summer and fall were pretty brutal for me, on the physical and emotional spectrums. Having a chronic illness is hard in that way. You can’t just ignore it or push it aside or hope for the best. There’s so much unpredictability that comes with Crohn’s disease, and that’s where I’ve always struggled. And last year, Crohn’s got the best of me. And I, in turn, turned into the worst version of myself.
I never regret how I handle my Crohn’s flares. Every time is different, and I’m always trying to roll with it as best I can, knowing that some days, my best is the worst. And it’s not just hard for me. It’s also hard for the people around me — the ones I love, the ones I interact with daily, the ones who are counting on me to get my work done on time, regardless of whether or not I’m spending 23 hours of the day in the bathroom. For the most part, the people in my life are incredibly understanding of my situation when things get tough. And, to be honest, they tend to get the brunt of whatever I’m going through. (Ask Brian, or my poor parents.)
I get a lot of emails from people asking how to tell an employer about a chronic illness, or how to tell someone you’re dating about it. Just tell them. That’s always my advice. It’s your life, it’s your situation, and it’s on you to be open and honest about it. From there, it’s on them to decide how to react. You may not always get the reaction or compassion you want or hope for, but that’s not on you. We can’t control other people.
Where was I even going with this?
Marriage! Let’s talk about that. Brian and I are now in our third year of marriage. Yay! The first year was wedded bliss ’round the clock. Then, with year two came all that Crohnsy goodness. Year two, for me, brought illness and frustration and a deep depression. Conversely, year two for Brian brought the best year of his career. While I was home, doing those bathroom things and crying, Brian was literally flying around the country on Jennifer Lopez’s private jet. Yes, I was thrilled for him. But I also resented him. I hated that he wasn’t around. I hated that I couldn’t be part of what he was doing. I hated that I was sick, and that it was controlling my life. Of all the ways I’ve handled my life with Crohn’s, I would say how I responded to a few key things in the past year may be my only regret. I wish I had been more supportive. I wish I had better communicated how proud of him I was; how psyched I was that he was making all this awesome stuff happen.
But the kinda ugly truth? I was jealous.
It feels kind of icky to admit that, and I don’t think I ever have. But I was jealous that Brian was peaking and I was at my lowest point. He tried to include me — he’d send me photos, he’d call and text, and I didn’t really appreciate any of it because I was in such a rough place. If the tables had been turned — if I were flying around with Celine Dion and Brian wasn’t all jazz hands all the time for me — it wouldn’t have been pretty! Brian took my tough times in stride, and for that I’m deeply, eternally grateful.
So now that I’ve bared my soul, how about a ray of sunshine?
We got through it. As I started to feel better, those dark clouds that were hanging over my head for so long started to drift away. As I got back into doing what I loved — returning to podcasting after a break, filling up my workdays with things that were fulfilling, running, going to Orangetheory — I was my best self again. And with that, I was a better person, friend, and wife. Thank goodness for that (and the short run of steroids that helped me get there).
Brian and I have been through a lot when it comes to all this Crohn’s stuff. (Here’s a post he wrote about it a few years ago, and here’s a more recent podcast episode about it.) I’ve had so many flares throughout our seven-year relationship, and we’ve made it through each one. It sucks for a bit, and then we’re stronger for it, individually and as a team.
It’s hard to admit when you were wrong. For me, it was hard to look back on the past few months and realize, oh shit, a lot of the “hard times” I say we went through were because I had morphed into a madwoman. But that’s life. That’s not even just life with a chronic illness. It’s life in general.
I haven’t been on that private jet yet, but I did get to meet Brian’s buddies back in February when I tagged along on a trip to the Super Bowl and got to work with Brian and his team. Whenever Brian’s around now, we are maximizing our time together, usually by taking Ellie to the beach or hiking, or generally just enjoying each other’s company. It’s been so good.
There will always be hard times. And the only way to get through them is to get through them.
THIS TOOK A TURN. I JUST CAME HERE TO VENT ABOUT THE RAIN BUT NOW HERE WE ARE.