Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tank is filled

Saturday morning began a bit rough...I was itching to run and get some steam out. Jack had his work party the night before, and sadly I missed it but Makenzie and I planned a fun night. We had a slumber party in our buddy, Ryan's room, and his Mama and I got to enjoy some dinner and wine. We all giggled a lot, were grateful to have each other as friends in the hospital, and fell asleep thinking how lucky and far our kids had come. Ryan and Makenzie both are pancreatic anomalies, yet you see them and would never know. When together, Ryan, aged 21 months, lights up and Makenzie, age 6.5, showers him with a special big sister affection. But Saturday morning came and I was aching to have my family of four together, go for an intense run, and have a great day. I woke to an angry Makenzie, late to arrive Jack, and bummed logistics to kick off the weekend. But, in my running clothes from the time I woke up ready to get in the brisk air, I finally did 2 hours later than planned and eventually it felt great!

I started, unable to really move. I made one step in front of the other, was trying to respond to immediate family emails as I was starting my walk to Golden Gate Park, and my body felt heavy. It felt like two sacks of potatoes were on each shoulder, but knowing it was my one window I had to go run. I trudged along, flustered in my head that I couldn't just run and escape mentally so fast. So, I did what I have learned helps me heal best....I crouched down mid warm up jog, covered my eyes and just let myself cry. Oh it felt good! Did you know that when you cry, it is actually beneficial for your body? During that time my phone was beeping again and I hit ignore, I just wanted to escape for a few. I ran to Stowe Lake and started going to the top, my body still feeling like there were potato sacks on my shoulders, but this time a bit lighter from the cry. I did a few repeats to the top and continued to have the dull ache. So I let it out...and shouted...on Facebook that is. Everyone has been so kind about me being brave and secure, when in all honesty I am doing what any Mom who loves her children would do and it has been the most trying and heartbreaking 3 months. I have also realized that part of being brave and supportive of Makenzie's needs is to get mad. So I swore on FB...which I don't normally do.

My post from a normally positive me was, "

Erin Kreitz Shirey On a run in Golden Gate Park and want to shout loudly this deal of being a strong, back boned, steady, nervewracking, secure parent of a sick but incredibly brave child in a hospital for almost 3 months deal-I-o really SUCKS!! Yep- said it and now I can go back to running and listening to techno... Saturday at 10:08am via iPhone Friends Only ·

After I posted it, Katy Perry Teenage Dream techno version came on and those potato sacks were flying off my shoulders. I started jamming laps around the little "mountain" and climbing stairs fast. Repeaters were being done at a rapid pace, sweat was dripping from my now nappy hair, and I could care less. The release of tension and nerves was huge. The fresh air on my skin felt like I was bathing in La Mer and giving myself an energizing facial. I took in the lovely Japanese Gazebo and the tranquility it airs when doing repeats on the perimeter path. I didn't want to stop...but also knew that my tank was being filled. I ran towards Kezar to finish with 15 minutes of stairs and push ups. It was more like sprinting at my 5K pace and legs were burning. Started bleachers blasting towards the top. Now Mumford & Sons were singing loudly to me and my legs were sprinting every other step to the top for each staircase. The physical depletion started to creep, buy my mental depletion wasn't there and on top of my game. At the bottom of every third section, busted out low push ups and my chest and back started to scream for more. My mind started to escape to a little pub in Ireland after a long run thanks to Mumford & Sons and I realized my flustered tank was getting empty again!

Busting up 3rd Ave to UCSF, I knew I would run into the Playroom to Emerson, Makenzie and Jack and couldn't wait. Ran up to the 2nd floor for the requisite Peets Coffee, I was jonesing for my girls cuddles. Now an energizer bunny towards the elevator, smiling at any willing face to accept one and even those who wouldn't, the anticipation bubbles of having my family of 4 together started popping through my stomach. The darn UCSF elevators add to the anticipation too, since they take forever and are your only option onto the 6&7 floors. Once off on floor 6, I could hear Makenzie and Emersons' voices down the hallway. The Kids Playroom is our sanction. I walked in and Makenzie was with Lani-dog, Emerson at the easel, and Jack chilling in between. Emerson looked over with a huge smile, ran over with a hug, and twirled in her tutu skirt. As always, life is good and my own tank was starting to fill....

Tank filling part 2 coming later....


  1. Hi Erin,
    I am thinking of you and Makenzie and find your words and strength so inspiring. I'm also a big fan of crying...I don't do it very often, like you I'm a type A personality who tries to always keep it together, but weeping is our human way of healing. We shouldn't feel uneasy or apologize for doing it. It's not a sign of weakness, but a healthy way of coping and healing. I think your tears will help others feel permission to cry when they feel the need. It's helped me.
    Big hug to you,
    Joy Jaeger

  2. When I was in Berlin I my best friend was diagnosed with a Brain Tumor and I found that the only time I had time to cry was on the streets. It was oddly freeing, walking down the street and letting the tears flow, no one bothers you, or tries to comfort you. I'm glad you got to go running, it sounds like it did you some good.

  3. Genevieve just sent me your blog URL. Looks great! Hang in there. Nicola

  4. Thanks you lovely ladies. To think all three are BOD graduates who posted- I would say that says something about the compassion and love that's been instilled in all from the get-go. Crying is huge, when running yesterday and realizing we may go home, I was running and tears or joys and nerves started streaming again. How much I appreciate your kind words of support, putting it all "out there" is a bit nervewracking too. xoxox

  5. I am so grateful that you have your exercise to help you get out the frustration and pain and anger at the injustice of all that's happened and continues to happen. What a healthy outlet for you! So many people turn to drinking or drugs or have running and burpees and pushups! And crying is oh, so very therapeutic! Cry, yell, swear and then run some more...whatever you need to do. Oh, and take advantage of the hot stone massage gift certificate I gave you! Trust me when I tell you an hour with Suzanne will bring you back to life...especially after all that exercise!! Love you much, Terri

  6. Hi Erin,

    Congrats on Makenzie's return home. Shannon and I have been following quietly with lots of prayers :). I wanted to let you know, I have set up an informational page for my "Run For Makenzie" and I hope it is OK but I have borrowed some stuff from the website to help to fill in information for potential sponsors. If its not OK, I will immediately change it. Anyway, have a wonderful Christmas with Makenzie home!!!

    Our very best wishes!!!

    Jensen and Shannon Huffman


I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey