Don’t Let Them Get You Down

The title of this post is directed, mainly, at myself.  I’m reminded everyday that I have an issue, a condition, something that makes me different.  It’s not presented as a particularly negative thing, but I can’t help but sometimes internalise it as such.

My husband CB and I are in a transitional period.  For a while, we weren’t sure which side of the ocean we would be calling home.  The lease on our house was up in July, there was one more job over here that wouldn’t be decided until August, and, well, visas take a while to process.  Short term leases are really only available on efficiency apartments or really poorly everything-ed student houses.  So, we’ve been living in CB’s parents’ house for the past month.  They have been gracious and welcoming, but then there’s the food thing.  As they want to be accommodating, and the family dinner is often a big deal, I’m forever hearing, “Can you eat this?”, “Where is good for you?”, “Which is better: X or Y?”.  I know that every one of those sentences means they are trying, they are considering me, and they are not just leaving me to fend for myself, but I can’t help but remember that, in our own house, it was simply a given.  I can eat this, I can’t eat that.  It wasn’t really discussed unless it was in a positive way: “Guess what I just learned I can eat!”

CB got the job — which I’m convinced was the only job left in Northern Ireland — so we begin our house hunting today.  Visas get put off a while longer.  I get to start planning my new kitchen.

I can’t say that my time in this house has been without inspiration.  I’m referring to the Olympics but trying to steer clear of being just another blogger talking about the Olympics.  I’ve been learning (and educating) about athletes that are Celiac/gluten-intolerant.  Novak Djokovic, the Serbian tennis player who failed to place in these Olympics but won Wimbledon in 2011, has a gluten intolerance.  In fact, he credits his Wimbledon title to this discovery, as he was able to train longer, harder, and faster once he omitted gluten from his diet.  Jenn Suhr, Gold medalist in the pole vault for the USA, tested positive for Celiac Disease only last year.  She was finding it difficult to maintain her strength in training sessions and would even put off eating solid foods until after the training day was done.  She eliminated the gluten and brought home a gold medal this year.

What I’m not saying is that not eating gluten will take you to the Olympics.  What I am saying is that, even with a condition that can be so depressing and something that factors into your daily life, you can excel to whatever level is appropriate for you.  I need to lose all this weight from my medical ups and downs (mostly downs) last year, but I’ve often allowed lethargy and stomach pain stop me from pushing myself.  But, I’m going to do it.  I’ve got the swimsuit hanging in the wardrobe.  I brought my tennis racket over from where it sat, dusty, in my parents’ house in America.  I’m going to do it.

I might just leave the pole vaulting to Suhr, though.


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