Saturday Spotlight- Jodi Clarin

Name: Jodi Brett Clarin
Age: 49
Hometown: Huntington Station
Relationship Status: Single/Divorced
Children: One 16 year old daughter who hates to run; two cats
Occupation: Senior Manager, dental insurance company

When Lou asked me to be Warrior of the Week, I was kind of surprised. I mean many of you run the Hills more in a week than I have in total. But he assured me that despite my limited miles on the Hills, since I had been a member for over a year, and I was proud to wear the colors, I am deserving. So….here goes. I was never an athlete growing up. My parents and my brother were all athletic; my dad played street hockey growing up and played in a Sunday softball game when I was kid. My mother was a dancer and had even been a Phys Ed teacher. I “played” soccer, because that’s what everyone did in Plainview where I grew up. I never understood why people say that if you grow up on Long Island you play lacrosse, because in Plainview, everyone played soccer. My brother was on the travel team, both my parents coached, and my mom even played goalie for the women’s team. When I say I “played’ it’s because I played fullback and I basically stood there and waited for the ball to come to me. I never much liked running. I stopped playing around age 14. When I got older I would play in the occasional softball or volleyball game with my friends, always having fun, but not exactly athletic.

Fast forward a couple of decades. In my early forties, out of nowhere my extremities swelled up, I was lethargic and in pain. Plus my mobility was impeded. My doctor took test after test, including three different Lyme tests, but everything came back negative. While I was relieved when they ruled out things like Lupus and MS, I was growing more and more frustrated by the lack of a diagnosis. Finally, despite the fact that my rheumatoid factor (an indicator of rheumatoid arthritis) was negative, my doctor sent me to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me with RA. I was treated with methotrexate and eventually the RA was being controlled. By age 43, I was the heaviest I had been aside from when I was pregnant, and my father was diagnosed with Diabetes, which we already knew was prevalent in his family. I got scared! I had a 10 year old daughter and I wanted to be around for her for a long time. I went to Weight Watchers and in six months, I hit my goal weight, but I needed to do more. I started going to the JCC and walking the track. Then I tried running, very short distances at first. Anyone who’s been to the JCC in Commack knows it is not the place to run. The track is square and 1/10 of a mile around. I couldn’t even run one lap when I started, but I worked my way up and decided to take it outside. February 2012 I became a runner. I would combine running and walking (I still do, most days, although the walking has significantly decreased), and I gradually increased my distance. The farthest I’ve done is seven miles, and I’m okay with that. But for someone who was never an athlete and who in her early forties could barely walk a few feet without pain…. (oh, and somewhere along the way I switched to a different rheumatologist who changed the diagnosis to Psoriatic Arthritis, hence the negative rheumatoid factor).

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