Taking the leap

So much in chronic illness often becomes centred around the things we cannot do anymore. We have to plan our day around it, give it a constant stream of acknowledgement, or all hell might break loose. It’s that awkward third wheel that no-one likes to talk about, but we all know is there. So for once I am going to talk about what I can do, about the leaps and bounds (literally and figuratively) that I have been lucky enough to take forward. I have joined the dive team, and have completed three weeks of training. £ weeks of proper intense training. If you had told me I would be doing this 2 months ago, hell 1 month ago, I would have laughed. But here I am , three weeks into this new adventure, and I am loving it, it makes me smile when I wake up for practice, I want to go, I’m enthusiastic, I am intrigued what new thing I might learn each time. I am keeping up, pretty well I think, and my joints on the whole seem to be happy enough to hop on for the ride. I mean there as been quite a lot of grumbling from them, but nothing I can’t manage, nothing to horrible. I actually just want to hug them and throw them a party and say look what you can do! Look how far you’ve come! I have had some bad dives, hit the water on more than one occasion, which hurts every time, don’t believe anyone who says otherwise, and I’ve still been able to get up and try again. I might have a few, well maybe a lot of bruises, but I’m willing to take them for the fun I’m having. The other thing that I love about diving is that the swim and dive team spirit and friendliness is just amazing. I like every single person on that team, and everyone looks out for each other, cheers each other on, and were all so close. It’s such a nice environment to be in, and I feel very lucky to be in it. The one thing that feels a bit odd though is how few people on the team know about my medical stuff. My coach knows and a couple of the girls on diving, but I don’t think many other people know. I am kind of torn between whether I want them to know or not. IT’s nice to have a group of people who just sees me, without the baggage, but then isn’t the baggage part of me? Also I have no idea how one brings this up, especially when you are participating in all the trainings and mostly able to do it, it seems weird to then say but oh ya I have JIA, and this is really actually something I never though I would get back to. I feel like this just turns the conversation really awkward or into a pity party. Neither of which I want. So I guess in this regard I am on the fence. Should I tell everyone, should I not? How do I tell them? ……

So far I have learnt 10 maybe 11 dives, which makes me super proud. I just want everyone to know that even though it might not seem like it now, hopefully there will be a time when you will have better control of your body. For now, know your limits, but don’t limit yourself. If there is something that you really want to do, that is important to you, go for it, it might be hard, it might not work, but it also might. Just go for it. Diving was something I thought I would never in a million years get back to doing, but I have, and the going is slow and tough, and sometimes I want to cry and quite. But then I remember how much joy it brings me, how I actually feel like I have a reason to get up early in the morning. I tell myself that I can manage tough, as long as it’s important to me, it being tough will not stop me. My joints can throw little temper tantrums all they want I’m going to do this, because who knows if I will be able to later, I don’t. So here’s to taking that leap of faith, and going for that thing that we want, no matter how hard it seems….

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