• Ashley Rippentrop

A Walk for Those Who Struggle to Stand

Boston POTSWalk 2018 in Medford, MA

This past Saturday, on October 20th, 2018, Dysautonomia International held their annual Boston POTSWalk in Medford, MA. The Boston POTSWalk is a race/5K to raise awareness and research funding for POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). It is held in memory of Christina Tournant. It was amazing to see other POTS patients and their families, friends and caregivers all come together for such an event.

I was fortunate enough to have the strength to walk the full 5k! Not without challenges though. I finished the 5k in 55 minutes, which I realize may not sound impressive, but the fact that I finished was.

A mile and a half in, I felt horrible and didn't think I was going to make it, but I realized turning around would be nearly the same distance as finishing, so I chose to push myself. I flew all the way to Boston for this thing and didn't want to quit now.

I felt more tired and achy after that 5k than I have felt after doing a half marathon in the past! Oh, how things have changed. It was the most I have walked straight in over a year so feeling this way was expected.

Pictured below is me lying down on a yoga mat post 5k at a resting station on site. It was really awesome that they had stuff like this at the race.

The next day

My body struggled hard core the following day traveling back to Chicago (migraines, extreme fatigue, aches, very short standing tolerance, cognitive issues, head rushes all day, and more dizziness than usual) and I'm still dealing with the lingering repercussions today, but it was totally worth it and I would do it all over again!

This weekend was a win in my book and proved that while I am not able to do all I used to do, progress can and is happening!

Last Summer, I was nearly bedridden for a couple months and this Fall, I walked a 5K!

Big thanks again to Dysautonomia International for making this 5K happen again!

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