I just registered for a 5K! The LA Marathon 5K, to be specific. I plan to run, not walk, the race. I’ve downloaded a training program and added it to my calendar. I’ve downloaded an app to my iPhone to keep me on track. My boyfriend will train and run with me to keep me accountable. I announced my intentions on Facebook for even more accountability from my Iron Man and Marathon friends. And I’m telling you, dear CreakyJoints readers, so you can keep me on track.

I’ve walked a 5K before, but to RUN this race with thousands of other Angelenos is taking things to a new level. I’m scared. When I go for long walks, my joints ache and I have a hard time walking the next day. Will I be over-eager, train too quickly and cause an injury? Or will I be patient and be mindful of my arthritis? Will I wake up on race day with a migraine or stomach-ache and let that stop me, or will I give my body a chance to work through pain and discomfort in a new setting? This is not only an opportunity to LA Marathon 5Kdo something new, it’s an opportunity to do that new thing while being mindful of my health limitations. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate my commitment and my creativity. This isn’t about denying that I have arthritis and trying to keep up with my dozen friends who just completed the Houston Marathon. This is about being real, and being me (all arthritic joints and pain), but a better version of me. 

So it’s 5K or bust, people! Even with lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and other forms of arthritis, we can still take a step forward and try to reach a new goal. I can continue to be “Kristin, who doesn’t run races” or I can take the first step towards becoming “Kristin 2.0 – the runner, race signer-upper, and race finisher.” 

Forget resolutions that make you depressed about where you’re at and seem impossible to reach. How can you stretch yourself, with one small step?