I admit it, I love symbolism, little things that remind us of more profound truths and keep us going when our mind tries to slow us down with negatives.
Everyone that has run a race has seen someone that didn't seem to take it seriously. You know the ones, the women with their hair and make-up done perfectly, nails manicured, donning a running outfit fresh off the rack and fully coordinated, standing at the starting line ready to run. I don't know how well they do, since by the time I cross the finish line they are long gone, but if they enjoy it, more power to them. I'm not one of them though; I roll out of bed, put my hair in a pony tail under my hat and am lucky if I have a little left-over eyeliner from last night. However, I do have one odd little idiosyncrasy that may make me look like I want to be one of them. I wear pearls when I race. Not a big gaudy strand or anything hugely special, just a little pearl in each ear and one on a pendant around my neck, (that I got from a $5 oyster at Sea World when I was 15.)
What does that mean to me? At some point, the poor oyster had a problem. A piece of sand, or a starter seed, was rammed into its mantle and caused an irritation. The oyster didn't whine, it didn't complain, it couldn't expel it, it had to deal with it. Over time the oyster covered the irritation, layer by layer, turning it into something so beautiful that it became valuable. The oyster took something bad and made it wonderful.
Seven years ago I was diagnosed with a disease that terrified me, but I believe I have taken this bad thing, this irritation that is always there, and made it into something beautiful. Because of RA, I have thrown away the unnecessary things in my life and focused on what really matters. I've taken control of my health and brought my body to a level that is better than it would have been had I not been challenged. I'm quite sure that without RA I would still be dabbling at aerobics DVD's, wishing I could shed a few pounds, and getting winded by a flight of stairs.
The oyster took a grain of sand and made a pearl; I took RA and made a runner.