This month's RAD Journal features longtime RADrabbit, Reesa Partida.
Reesa is an incredible marathoner, teacher, and coach! Read about her struggle to overcome rheumatoid arthritis a few years ago, to continue pursuing her passions. You are such an inspiration, Reesa!
Follow Reesa's journey on instagram @_reesa_ann_
Celebrating God's gift of a functional (and not so functional) body. I push myself because I can and it feels so good! The burning chest and legs of charging up a hill, the sweat dripping off everything, the feeling of flying downhill, the immense satisfaction of crossing a finish line...I keep running to inspire my students and show them that they may face challenges but nothing should hold them back from going after what they love.
In 2014 I had some weird things going on in my body. I woke up one day to a hand that looked like it belonged on Mickey Mouse. It went away. Then my feet and toes were swollen. It hurt to put my feet on the floor in the morning. Then I could barely turn the key to get into my apartment. I have always been an athlete and dancer so I know when something is wrong in my body. I was only 25 and in the middle of finishing up my teaching credential (P.E. to be a dance teacher, no less!) and doing my student teaching. I had to push through until I there was time to see a doctor. A couple of wrong diagnosis from various orthos led me finally to a clinic on a Saturday morning to make sure I wouldn't break my feet by still attempting a 50k I was to race that May. I can still picture this doctor's face as he was the first one to tell me that something systemic might be going on. But could I run? Sure. I did. Very slowly.
I went to my primary care doctor after that to figure out what was actually going on and, sure enough, he sent me to a rheumatologist. She was very positive when she confirmed a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and assured me that I would be racing and back on the podiums in no time. She was right. Eventually.
A lot of my being is tied to what I can do with my body. How was I going to teach dance? How would I run and race triathlons? Would I always be in such pain? It took about a year on the new meds to really feel good again. There are side effects, sure, but it's nothing compared to the way things were.
Here I am, six years later, and I feel stronger than ever. I am a dance teacher, aerialist, runner, and triathlete and nothing is going to hold me back. I run because I CAN and I keep running because the day might come when I won't be able to.