Hey there. I’m Jamie, the Idiot Runner Girl.
I’m what you would call complicated: I’ve been labeled an “angry hippie” because of my tree hugging and rocker girl ways, have a really strange and sarcastic sense of humor, am known to curse like a sailor, a music addict who believes that life should come with its own soundtrack, a writer looking for the next big story and a depressed girl with a strangely positive outlook on life.
I’m a former television news producer who is now the digital media tech working for the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office in St. Johns County, Florida. I’m on far too many social media sites and have my cell phone (the iPhone 6) practically surgically attached to me. It’s quite literally my lifeline. I’m also studying online at Purdue University in hopes of earning my Masters of Science in Communication. Fingers crossed.
I’m married to Dreamboat, have a lab/shepherd mix named Hocus who is one of the most important people in my world, and a variety of friends to keep me going. I also have a few imaginary friends who like to argue with me from time to time. I happen to find arguing with them to be rather comforting. You can find stories and opinions on the happenings of my life at Adventures in Complicated Simplicity.
I started running as something to do because the television station I used to work for is a huge sponsor for the Gate River Run here in Jacksonville and offered comped entries. I figured, what the hell? I signed up for the 5k charity race and not the 15k competition run, and that was many years ago. Next thing I knew, I started to sign up for more and more races. A foot injury sidelined me for a year in 2010, and when I got back into it, I was barely able to do 2 miles without dying. I was determined to prove to myself that I wasn’t going to quit and despite limitations and challenges, I ran my first half marathon in October 2011.
After suffering with horrific migraines for almost 20 years of my life, I had surgery on August 2013. That surgery was occipital nerve decompression and it literally saved my life. Three years later, I suffer from fewer migraines and the ones I do have are significantly less severe. I must say, I am not completely migraine free. That part sucks. But they are less frequent and less severe. I count that as a win.
Since the surgery, however, I have found myself back at the start. Again. I wasn’t able to run for about 4 months, and then when I could I had to relearn what it feels like with a semi-numb head.
I was running pretty consistently since then, but was dealt a blow at mid-2014. As someone who has been diagnosed with clinical severe depression, I’ve been doing a great job of keeping it under control, but sometimes depression wins and I was thrown into a year-long downward spiral. In 2015, I got a bad foot injury (again) that took me out of running for almost 5 months, I lost my job, I lost my car, my marriage was suffering, and my depression was kicking my ass. I was in a very dangerous place and I reached out for help from my then doctor, only to not receive the attention I needed. I floundered and almost gave up hope.
But then… I got a new car that was safe and reliable, a new job that I adore, and a much better relationship with my Dreamboat husband. I found a new doctor who took the time to really listen to me, and spent almost two hours with me on my first visit with him and was able to change my medications to help me control the dangerous thoughts and desires I was having. I can honestly tell you that he saved my life.
I took a significant amount of time to really learn who I was without television news and learned what I can do to make myself better. 2016 was part of that rebuilding phase. Now, with a new year comes new ways of handling the things that are in my life and I feel confident for the first time in a long, long time. Strong, passionate, and confident.
I may be at my heaviest weight again… I may be wearing a size 16 once again… and I might be slower than a turtle galloping through a river of Nutella, but the truth is… It’s all about starting over with hope and specific, attainable goals in mind. I’m not the best runner out there; I’m just a girl trying to figure it out myself. But if I learned anything during the time of self-discovery, it’s that the sky is the limit.
You just need to lace up and get out there.