Hello there iHaveUCer’s! (Collin Jarvis the Runner is Back)

Hello there iHaveUCer’s!

I’m back again with another update! I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013, and wrote a piece for this website a couple days before I went under the knife to have my Colon removed in March of 2014 (link to original piece).

Collin getting his run on!

Collin getting his run on!

My journey back to health was difficult. I was very weak after the surgery, and came down with an E. Coli infection that nearly cost me my spleen and pancreas in July of 2014. Since then however, I have enjoyed a tremendous turn-around with my health, and ostomy bag on my side!

As you may have read in my older posts, I ran for UC Berkeley on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams. When I re-enrolled in school for my final semester in January of 2015, I was granted eligibility to compete again. For obvious reasons, I didn’t make it back to where I had been before the illness, but with only 5 months of training after two years of agony I was able to run 4:16 in the mile for my first race without a colon. (You can check out a short video documenting that process here if you’d like! http://www.flotrack.org/article/30227-no-colon-but-cal-s-collin-jarvis-is-still-rollin)

Collin J full

Since then, things have continued to progress! I am now in the process of training to make the Olympic Trials this summer, which means I would need to be one of the top 30 runners in the country. I’m not there yet, but my workouts and health have indicated to me that it is a serious possibility!

another picture of big C!

another picture of big C!

Due to this chance, I’ve started a GoFundMe page to document the training that I’m doing with the hopes of showing other and future ostomates that life with a bag isn’t just a way to survive, but a means to thrive again! Obviously, I hope that each and every one of you with Crohns or Colitis that read this are able to go into remission and do not have to have surgery; but for those of you who are like me and have tried everything without success, I am here to tell you that life on the Ostomy-side can be even more fulfilling than you could imagine! All it takes is the right mindset.

If you’d like to learn more about the documentary project, you can check out my GoFundMe page here: www.gofundme.com/rwxyayft. If you have any questions for me specifically, you can find my contact information on my website UCJarvisRun.com!

And remember, keep on keepin’ on!

Collin Jarvis

17 thoughts on “Hello there iHaveUCer’s! (Collin Jarvis the Runner is Back)”

  1. Let me get a booooooyaaaaaa to big Collin!

    You are rockin it buddy! and way way cool of you to do all the things you do!

    GOOD LUCK to you, I hope you kick some serious buttttieee in the BIG O Games!

    Awesomeness for sure,


    1. Hey Lisa!
      Hydration is one of the main challenges I’ve faced while coming back to endurance training. I plan to go into detail on the film about what I’ve found works for me, but here are a few tips to start:
      – find a water bottle that never leaves your side. I’m attached to mine, and am constantly taking small sips throughout the day. I end up having to pee once every 60-90 mins.
      – The large intestine is responsible for an estimated 30-40% of your water absorption, so I drink 30-40% more than I did before I had it removed!
      – I only drink fluids with electrolytes. If its not coffee or orange juice, I’m drinking GU tabs. It’s just my preference to use GU energy, but mainly having a little sodium, potassium, and magnesium in everything that I drink helps me get the most of each sip. (I water it down slightly from recommended use, and keep sugary energy drinks out of my diet when possible.) SOS hydration is another great sports drink with no sugar.
      – I eat 2-5 bananas a day. This gives me a boost in potassium, which your body needs to absorb water, and it slows down the digestive track so things don’t just shoot straight through me.
      – I work out in the mornings or evenings when its cool. The less I sweat, the better I stay hydrated. Cold weather helps.

      hope these help for starters!

      1. I’ve been wondering about the hydration issue with an ostomy.

        IIRC, I read that the colon controls Potassium in the body, so I’ve wondered how people troubleshoot that issue during hot weather or sports.

        1. Hey Erin! I just wrote an article on my website that goes through my full day of eating and hydrating. You can check it out at UCJarvisRun.com.

          You are absolutely right though, potassium is largely absorbed by the colon, so things like bananas and potatoes play an important role in my diet to ensure that I get enough! I also use GU energy tabs in everything that I drink, that also has potassium!

  2. Wow, good for you! What an inspiration for sure. Sometimes you just have to make the right decision for you. If that’s what you had to do after trying everything else then that’s what you had to do. Your outlook is amazing. Good luck to you!

  3. Amazing! What an inspiration. I wish you all the best and sending you positive vibes for your Olympic goals. I will remember your story if/when I come to the crossroads of surgery.

  4. Collin, i Look forward to reading more of your successes and thank you for posting. I come to Adams website to get as much inspiration, hope and tips as I can get. And your story is a great one that inspires me knowing I can keep going forward. Thank you again. Love and hope to all our UCers and everyone striving forward getting through our tummy situations.
    .(I call my UC, tummy gremlins as part of my dealing mechanism) Hope that doesn’t offend anyone.

    1. tummy gremlins.. I like it! The nicknames I had for my UC were much less tactful. hah! I think we all benefit from having a sense of humor about these things. For the most part, it’s out of our control and sometimes you just have to laugh

  5. Thank you for updating . I kept up with your posts, and your positive attitude inspired me. I also did everything I could to stop the terrible symptoms of UC, but after 5 years of severe symptoms, 90 days in the hospital during the last 1.5 years of it,, every medicine listed on this website, every diet, supplements, meditation and yoga, my body would not stop attacking itself. I also “went under the knife” and was going to go for the J pouch surgery. After my Initial surgery, it took almost a full year for me to recover from being so sick for so many years and of course the surgery itself. In my first month after surgery I was learning how to walk up the stairs, sometimes all I could manage was one step, I had been that sick and weak by the time they operated.
    I recently made the decision not to go forward with the J pouch and to live with “the bag”. It is a big learning curve , but like you, I have found that it is not a big problem. My question to you: how do you exercise without getting a hernia? I have been warned repeatedly by my physical therapist and physician not to overdo it. (I am much older than you!). I would like to get back in my kayak, and bicycle. I do have an exercise routine given to me by my physical therapist that I go through every morning, and take long walks, I miss biking, kayaking, cross-country skiing, and just being more physical. I am so curious about how you keep your abdomen and intestinal situation intact. Also, do you worry about hitting your stoma and causing damage?
    Thank you again for your inspiring, updated post. I always wondered what happened to you! Best wishes and continued success in your goals for the Olympics.

    1. Hey Joanne!
      I recently learned that I also have the option to do a Jpouch if I want in the future, but I too think I may stay with the bag.

      There are 2 things I do that I believe have helped prevent hernia’s so far:
      1. very consistent and gradual build up of core strengthening ( I started with post-partum core workouts and have slowly graduated back to my old routines )
      2. Stealth Belt ostomy support belts. They changed everything for me in terms of working out and being active. I have actually started working with the company because it made such a big difference for me! Stealthbelt.com is the website, and you can custom make the belts to have additional support for hernias. (The belts will also help protect from damaging them with contact, but from everything i’ve read/heard/experienced, the stomas are more durable than you might think)

      I’ll have to do another followup soon!

  6. I have a similar story. I am a 43 year old male. When I had my stoma I found it was necessary to always listen to your body. You have to find that line (and then redefine the line) between pushing it and overdoing it. At first, I started walking. I started with a half mile, then a mile, then 1.5 and then 2. This was over time. Then I started light jogging w/ walking. Slowly I built up to where I could jog 3 miles consistently. Same thing with weight training. I started light working on just form and then slowly added weight. There are hernia belts you can get although I personally never wore one. I was able to cycle with no problems. Even before my last surgery I was able to do up to 15 pull-ups at a time. It just takes time and you need to go slow. But don’t be afraid to push. You can do anything with proper training and building up to things slowly. There is no reason you can’t get back into the kayak or cycle as many miles as you like. I wish you the very best. – Patrick

    1. Hey Patrick!

      You are exactly right. With a smart and gradual build up and approach, there hasn’t been anything I haven’t been able to do post-op. For me, the surgery was the best possible option and 3+ years later i’m so happy I went through with it. I was even able to run the Boston Marathon a couple weeks ago!

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