Home Running through a thyroid condition: Young lady overcomes obstacle

Running through a thyroid condition: Young lady overcomes obstacle


DSC_2719_DxOA young lady who was the first to cross the finish line at the Turkey Trot 1-miler held by the Waynesboro YMCA on Thanksgiving Day was the big winner of the day for another, deeper reason.

Twelve-year-old Nina completed the race two weeks after being taken off no-activity orders during treatment for a thyroid condition that had been zapping her energy levels the past two years.

A normally energetic young lady who took up running at age 10, running in a previous year Turkey Trot race and even trying a 5K, Nina found herself constantly tired, and multiple trips to the doctor couldn’t pinpoint the problem.

Then a round of testing revealed the thyroid condition just before the start of school in August.

The good news was that the cause of her health issues was now known. The bad news was that she was put on basically a no-activity regimen for more than two months.

“That was a bummer,” Nina said, understated.

No running, no biking, nothing.

A real bummer for any 12-year-old, but for Nina, who loves to run, it was torture.

The treatment regimen worked, and by early November she was given the green light to resume normal physical activities.

The Turkey Trot at the Y was only a couple of weeks away, but Nina set her sights on running the mile.

“I really wanted to do it,” said Nina, whose goal wasn’t all that lofty, just to finish.

She more than finished. Her personal best for a mile had been 9:45. She ran a 9:16 at the Turkey Trot.

Nina wasn’t focused on personal accomplishment. Her thought as she crossed the finish line: “I think I’m going to throw up.”

Which was a good sign, actually. Meant she was running hard and not thinking about anything but running hard.

Bigger picture, life is getting back to normal. After spending the bulk of her sixth-grade year tired, sometimes listless, as the thyroid condition went undiagnosed, things have been much better for her in seventh grade.

She even stops during runs in PE class to encourage slower runners to keep pushing hard to get to the finish.

Her focus is on her next big mile run – during testing in PE class in March.

“I want to run it in under eight minutes,” she said.

It’s a safe bet to assume that she will reach that goal with ease.

– Column by Chris Graham



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