Thankful Things Thursday: It Gets Better

That’s what I keep telling myself.

When things suck, it’s because they’re eventually going to be awesome again.

For a very long time, I had no complaints in life.

These days, I have quite a few, most of which revolve around that nice “Crohn’s” word.

SHARK ATTACK IN MY BELLY. And also in Rockefeller Center. Well, it was. It's down now. Bye, shark. (Brian, did you keep the shark? Can we hang it in our bedroom? AQUARIUM THEME!!!)

But I am trying so, so hard — in between the sprints to the office bathroom and the sad frustration I feel upon hearing the words “Central Park” — to remain positive and optimistic about a bright, flare-free future. I’m sure it’s coming.

I think that sets the appropriate tone for another round of Thankful Things Thursday, don’t you? Yee haw!

Sorry that I just said yee haw.

I’m thankful for my new doctor. He’s a gem. I am slightly disappointed that after three doses of steroids, I’m still not feeling any better. At all. I enjoyed a fever-less night, but I was restless and spent some overnight time in the bathroom. I was back in there for a while this morning, again unable to run or even consider the possibility of running. Usually the ‘roids kick in after just a dose or two, but maybe this round will take longer. Still, I’m happy to be under the care of someone who is attentive, smart and conveniently located.

I’m thankful for the doorman in the fancy building on 96th & Lexington who let me use his sketchy basement bathroom. You’d think I would have been able to make it from the hospital to my apartment — a mere five minute walk — but apparently not. As I headed home from the doctor on Tuesday, I made a mad dash for Starbucks, only to find a line three people deep. Unacceptable. If you do not have Crohn’s, you may not use my public bathrooms.

Luckily, the kind gentleman perched on his stoop outside The Carnegie Something Apartments let me down into his lair (that sounds dirty — which the bathroom really was) and saved my life. Basically. He was really nice about it. Maybe because I was sweating a little.

I’m thankful I broke a real sweat last night! Not the Crohn’s fever kind! I took a spin class. I don’t remember the last time I took a spin class. It was so amazing, and Magical Matt was the instructor, and it was everything I needed. I didn’t push very hard, and the standing climbs made my stomach rumbly, but I stayed in the room for the entire 45 minutes and felt so, so good. I miss my runner’s highs, but this was a pretty sweet substitute.

After the class, I thought, “Hey, I feel kinda good right now! I survived! I wonder how I’d do running…” I went onto a treadmill in the gym and lasted a whopping .2 miles before I was bolting for the closest bathroom stall. Oh well. I gave it a shot.

I’m thankful for polka dots.

That is my skirt. I've had it since college. I realize it is not necessarily "trendy" or "cool" or "clean," but I like it.

Most of the time when I feel terrible I’m likely to power through life in yoga pants and a dry-fit top. Preferably of the racer-back variety. But today, after I attempted a bike ride in the park and had to cut it short on account of the obvious, I needed a pick-me-up. And since ice cream for breakfast didn’t seem like the best option, I went with the next best thing: a polka-dotted outfit.

I’m thankful for ice cream. I’m fairly certain that every doctor, nutritionist or person who is alive would advise not eating cookies and ice cream during a flare-up. It’s all dairy, and then there’s the sugar, and then there’s the hot chocolate chip cookie underneath it…a dietary disaster, sure. But guess what? It makes me happy.

Oh Pizzeria Uno Deep Dish Cookie Sundae, you are my happy place.

Did eating that massive pile of whipped cream, ice cream and hot cookie thrill my intestines? Maybe not. But did I enjoy 10 minutes of a sundae-induced sugar high that gave me loads of joy? You bet I did.

I’m thankful for the September issue of Dance Spirit. It’s my first as editor in chief, and I’m so happy with how it came out.

Look at those pretty people and those pretty colors! Go buy it.

From picking the cover subjects, to orchestrating their photo shoot in L.A. (so fun), to editing all the stories that went into this issue, I’m proud to have my name on this piece of work.

And now you have my work email address. Just in case.

It’s not until the October issue that I’ll have my own editor’s note, but I’m pretty pumped about it. Like, jazz hands pumped.

They call it "work," I call it "play time."

Oh relax. I haven’t posted jazz hands in like a year. They’re fun. And I’m thankful for them.

I’m thankful for great words of wisdom. Not running sucks, but taking forced time away does give me a chance to mentally prepare for my return. I’ve always been a bit of a disaster on race days and I have this cute habit of choking on the course, particularly in the second half (positive splitting — I’m so good at it). My issues are mostly in the brain area, and when I read this in Running Times I was like “that is the stuff I need to have in my head!”

I love this. Good font, too.

My favorite part is “You are stronger and tougher than those you will beat.” Excellent advice for when I want to stop during mile 20 — or mile six — of the marathon. I’m going to tape this to my hand or something. I dig it.

I’m thankful for Tyler!

That shadow on his head makes it look like he has a lot of hair. He doesn't.

Every week. Get used to it.

Last night, at three months and one day old, Tyler rolled over! I am a very proud aunt. He accomplished more last night than I did. Good job, buddy!

I’m thankful for friends who make me feel better when I feel like giving up, and who make me feel loved even from far away. You’re all keepers.

Look at these clowns. Looks like someone got caught in a derecho...

I’m thankful I have no plans this weekend. It was nice to get away last weekend for Brian’s race, but this weekend I’m hoping I’ll be back up and running — literally — and I can relax and enjoy myself. And also buy a bike.

It's nice to escape the city. It's also nice to stick around.

That’s all I’ve got for today.

Steroids, do your thing. Get to work.

AND YOU DO YOUR THING, TOO: Tell me what you’re thankful for today! Try not to talk too much about your “OMG amazing run” and your “super awesome training” because that will depress me. So basically, tell me about how you’re thankful for food and puppies. Thanks.



40 Responses

  1. Fantastic back & lats workout in the morning – the one day I didn’t feel like I was “dying”. It was tough and my trainer did pushed me but still great.

    Also thankful I donned my compression tights (under my dress! LOL!) during work yesterday and woke up to less sore glutes (not so quads and inner thighs) after a tough leg workout on Wednesday. Also rocked yesterday’s run.

    Things are good.

  2. I’m thankful that I got to go and see the Olympics live, but I am also thankful that soon most of the tourists will leave London and I will have a normal commute to work again. Oh and I am thankful that I joined a new awesome gym last night, and took my first ever PowerPlate class with an amazing instructor, 20 mins of pure sweat. then home for a huge Mars icecream infront of the Olympics… bliss.

  3. Listen, Ali. No listen, really, you are a superwoman. You are EIC of a magazine!?! I don’t know how I missed that before, but what a huge accomplishment that is. Especially at your young age. I am envious of your drive and passion for work. Really amazing. Can I order a subscription?

  4. you know, polka dots are coming back in style this season 🙂 just go to XXI or Jcrew. TONS OF POLKA DOTS ERRRYWHERE 🙂

    my thankful thing is: i got to go shopping today and scored a great deal on a pair of 6 inch steve madden heels/stillettos… 29.99 for a pair which were originally 159$. YEEE 😀 haha *jazz hands*

  5. Sometimes it is hardest to take care of ourselves. I am totally guilty of this as well, and in fact my reaction to this post made me realize that in a different way, I am guilty of the same thinking. I hope this doesn’t come across the wrong way (I speak with love!), so here goes…

    If you had a child with Crohn’s disease, who was in the midst of a painful flare-up that was seriously impacting her life and preventing her from doing an activity that she really loves…would you let her eat a big bowl of ice cream? Or really, any ice cream? Even if she told you it made her happy?

    My guess is no. Because you would want her to do everything possible to be well and feel good. I know in my 20s, I’ve loved being the boss of me and pushing the boundaries a bit…I can stay up until 2am if I want! I can drink wine every single day! Today I’m having cheez-its and marshmallows for dinner! (that did not go well) But eventually, we hit those walls and realize that we feel better when we take care of ourselves, even it if isn’t as much fun.

    There are SO many things in your life that can make you happy, much happier than ice cream. Maybe it makes sense to focus on those for a while, and leave the evil dairy desserts alone for a while.

    Oh, and one last thing…puppies! Now you can’t hate me 😉

    1. Ali, I agree with this comment. I think you are really an amazing person and I have admired you battle your disease and persevere. I have a chronic illness that has many many dietary restrictions (as in no chocolate, no caffeine, no nuts, no alcohol I could go on and on). Sometimes I feel like I just want to eat like a normal person; I deserve to eat x, y or z. I then eat x, y or z and pay for it big time. Please consider meeting with the RD and evaluating your dietary choices, it really may be helpful. and…please dont hate me either!

  6. Hey there Ali! Sorry you’ve had a rough time lately with your Crohn’s. It *will* get better.
    Also congrats on your first issue as Editor in Chief!

    today, I am thankful for so many things. There are a lot of people near me who are struggling or have lost loved ones and it really reminds me that life is short and precious.

    I am thankful for a family that loves and supports me.

    I am thankful that most of my problems are mere annoyances at best.

    I am thankful for sparkly headbands that make me happy to pull back my hair when I workout.

    I am thankful for my soft cuddly kitty who always snuggles up to me at night.

    I hope you have a great Friday and a fun, relaxing weekend without too many trips to the john. 🙂

  7. Congrats! I can relate to the feeling down and out due to not being able to run, I’m in that spot now…jsbvfjksbgjsbgjbdgjdbgjebgjerb…anywho…I’m thankful for your blog as I can relate to it and you keep me laughing in these rough times.

  8. YESSS! Buy a bike. I got one on Sunday and it is life-changing. Now I just have to figure out how to ride to work and not be a (totally) sweaty mess. I have a feeling people probably wouldnt be into it ’round the CHO office.


  9. I’m thankful for bagels. Because after a particularly obnoxious morning commute that involved getting whacked by a closing train door that apparently lacked a functioning motion sensor, a bagel really did make everything better.

    And hat tip to the person who mentioned McKayla Maroney’s face above, because YES, THAT TOO.

  10. I’m thankful that I survived my first olympic distance tri this past Sunday (literally – those water conditions were no joke)! I am thankful that I actually talked to my doctor last week when he wanted to add yet another medication to try to calm this (Crohn’s) flare. I told him that I wanted to give myself a chance to actually remember to take this medication 3x a day before we try something new! I’m thankful that I’ve remembered and I’m getting better (yippee)!
    I love your blog and truly hope this doc is the answer for you!

  11. I’m thankful for the things I learn from your blogs. Such as — there’s an Amazon store?!
    And words like “derecho” 🙂 But isn’t that snap of Tyler just the cutest you’ve posed yet? I’m sure he gets that from you.

    Also thankful for the physiotherapy that’s restoring me to some sort of normalcy that I hope will permit me to run by September.

    And red jeans. And the courage to buy them yesterday. Cuz I miss color.


  12. I’m also feeling a little frustrated with life this week, so I’m thankful today that my mom is texting pictures of the adorable dogs she got to play with last night. She’s coming to visit me next week and I’m pretending that she’s bringing all of the dogs with her. I’m sure that will only set me up for depression when she arrives dog-less on Tuesday but until then, I’m hanging in there :).

  13. Happy thursday to you! Your positivity even in your current situation brings a light to my day every week and I have great faith that your situation WILL get better. Good things happen to positive people, and you are one of them 🙂 I hope you feel better soon

  14. I am thankful for frozen custard and for spending time with my son, his girlfriend, my daughter and my husband this morning for tea and scones.

  15. I’m sorry things have been so shitty lately (errrr pun intended)? Am I inappropriate? Maybe a little…But I like ice cream and if it makes you happy, I will trek to the UES and join you next time! I hope to see you soon and I hope you can hit the CP paths this weekend. 🙂

  16. I am not thankful that I had to have my appendix out last week or to be missing this weekend’s (and prob the next 3) long run… BUT I AM thankful that not being able to run will free up my weekend to make a trip to see Baby Elliot! He will cheer me up, even though I wont be able to pick him up. I also plan to hit up the outlet mall between Chicago and Milwaukee, which makes me happy too.

    Oh and I’m also thankful for my wonderful mother who drove down to Chicago from Michigan as soon as I told her i in the ER last week. Best mom ever. 🙂

  17. Congratulations on your first issue…that’s a little bit of sunshine on a dark week, isn’t it!!! I’m so jealous of your editor’s letter, I’ve always wanted to be glam like that!

    This week I am thankful for my parents visiting California from the UK, it is utterly wonderful to have them. And I’m thankful for a $5 bicycle seat for my little boy so we can cycle together, and thankful for him singing from excitement as we cycled yesterday. And most of all I’m thankful I didn’t drop the bike and kill my child!

  18. I am thankful for home made ice cream and keeping my fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and we can serve it to our neighborhood tonight. (If you happened to come to Ohio today, you are, of course, invited!)

  19. First, that picture is amazing. I’m thankful that it made the blog.

    Secondly, congrats on the Oct issue! Can I get a signed copy, famous friend of mine?

    And finally, it WILL get better. Keep taking it one day at a time. And when we are both standing on that starting line in November, this will all be worth it (let’s just keep telling ourselves that anyway…okay?)

  20. I’m thankful that I am in the BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD (no not Disneyworld) and will be here surrounded by family for ANOTHER TWO DAYS. BLISS.

  21. I’m thankful I have my (last) physio appointment tonight, and will be heading back to BritMilFit this weekend for the first time in about 6 weeks. Is it what the physio tonight will recommend? Possibly not, but it’s definitely what MY mental health needs. (And really, my pillows are kind of over me sobbing into them).

  22. I’m thankful for you, your blog, and pictures of your boyfriend in a wet shirt! 😛 Thanks for sharing!
    I started reading your blog after seeing it in fitness magazine, and it always brightens my mornings at work. Thank you!!

  23. So, you might be having a hard time (understatement) in the stomach and running departments, but look at you miss editor and chief!!!!! Congrats on the first issue as boss lady!

    I’m thankful for all of the wonderful people who made last weekend so great, and who haven’t stopped talking to me yet, even though I’m probably being a kvetch/ big time pain/energy drain these days.

    I’m also thankful for all of the cake I consumed over the past week.

  24. I love that skirt, very cheerful.

    I’m thankful for my family, and getting to spend quality time with them during the summer.

  25. OMG! I had the UNO’s deep dish cookie with ice-cream yesterday too! (First time!) For the $2.49 why wouldn’t I have it for dessert? I was contemplating that it might not be good for my speed work-out later that day but didn’t care! I ran well and then I topped off the night with a cupcake. No calorie left behind. Hoping you feel better and congrats on the byline!

  26. Congrats on your first issue as Editor in Chief! That’s really awesome and the cover looks great. I too am thankful for ice cream. The day you posted about National Ice Cream Day I went out and got ice cream at this amazing place near my apartment, and I went back again on Saturday night for more. I’m also thankful for my car.

  27. I feel bad saying this, so dont hate me, but I’m thankful you don’t want to listen to people talk about running! I’m still on the no running allowed plan and for good measure to make sure I gain a few extra pounds I also got put on the no spinning plan. So to be honest, I’m thankful I didn’t just read a post about a great run 🙂
    I’m also thankful for hot yoga and Pure Barre to keep me at least a little active!

  28. I’m thankful for my mom. I’ve been going through a rough couple of weeks and she hesitated not a single second to pack up a suitcase and come stay with me for the past (going on 7) days in my tiny studio apartment so that I actually go to work, feed myself, and act like a productive adult. Moms are the greatest.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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