This is the first post I’ve written in 2016; I wanted to write a new post sooner, but I have been busy with training for the Really Long Run to End MS and suffering a bit of an extended holiday hangover. While I enjoy writing and podcasting, the holiday season was a needed break.
Training for the 2016 Really Long Run to End MS has begun in its’ official form. While I was running through the fall, those sessions didn’t follow the rigid structure required to pull off an ultra-marathon distance. These past two weeks since New Years have followed the official structure. The first week I wanted to punch myself in the face for agreeing to do it all over again; last week I felt powerful and ready to take on the challenge. What a difference seven days can make.
All the running has given me plenty of time to fixate on the video screen in my mind’s eye. It occurred to me the other day that November of 2016 will be the ten year anniversary of the big attack which lead to my diagnosis. I almost can’t believe it has almost been ten years.
I turned thirty in October of 2006 and at the time I was a partner in a restaurant. A month later, on Remembrance Day, I was at work and walking out of my office towards the dining room while a cook was following me and hounding me for a raise. My entire right side proceeded to go numb; from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. I honestly thought I was having a stroke. I never returned to work at that restaurant again and didn’t work again for seven months. Here I am almost 10 years later and couldn’t have guessed how my life would unfold.
I remember the feelings of hopelessness. I remember feeling that my life was over at thirty and I was just on a slow wait to pass on to the next world. I remember it all feeling pointless. Yet here I am.
I don’t know what clicked in my head to allow me to not only continue on andto allow me to progress in my life further than I could have expected. In so many ways being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis was the kick start I needed. I was horrible with relationships before the diagnosis; I am now married. I was extremely out of shape; I now run an ultra marathon every spring to raise money for the MS Society. Sometimes it almost feels as if I needed the slap in the face that MS provided. When you are facing a disease it is very hard to lie to yourself.
Now ten years later I’m facing the spectre of turning forty and it doesn’t bother me. Apart from the constant numbness, I feel as good now as I did in my mid-twenties. I’m actually looking forward to another twelve hour run in May. In general, I’m looking forward to life unfolding with my wife, kids, and family.
I never would have imagined any of it ten years ago.