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Wednesday Update: 11/11/09

I found out recently that an old friend of mine has breast cancer. It’s pretty shocking to know someone in my age group going through something this, well, scary. I think sometimes I somehow separate myself and Matt from groups of people who’ve gone through major life changing experiences…I don’t always acknowledge how profoundly different our own life is from what it once was…or how most everyone we know lives today. It must be because I strive to always see the good in our situation…to project to the world, and to myself, how normal we really are…even though how not ‘normal’ our life really is. I think about all the things that my friend will be going through in the coming weeks and months and it really just kind of shakes your core. Amy and I have both been impacted by the news of our mutual friend’s cancer journey…and as a friend you just feel so helpless. One way Amy thought we could show our love and support, and possibly achieve some personal goals, was to train for and run the Race for the Cure 5 K next year.

Now anyone who knows me KNOWS that my personal mantra on running is that I only run when being chased…and probably only if the chaser is carrying a chainsaw. But talking about it with Amy, I started to think…maybe…I…could. I haven’t written much, if anything, about my own personal health journey I’ve been on in recent months. I’ve always kind of been guarded about things like health, weight, exercise etc…not a favorite topic for me. However, I’ve made some significant changes…and I’m guessing it probably shows. I’ve lost 65 pounds. And as I began to read and think about beginning a program to train myself to be a runner…a small little flicker of something started inside. Was it excitement? What is this!?! Me, excited to run?? Huh? I don’t think I know who I am anymore. Honestly, the thought of running at all just NEVER interested me at ALL…in the least. When I think of running I immediately think of the dreaded physical fitness test in school…I shudder to think of it. But for some reason I just started thinking that after all the changes I’ve made recently, and as healthy as I’ve become, I think I’m up to the challenge…and I’m going for it.

I started training this week…a program that teaches you to be a runner, gradually. Last night I sat down to talk to Matt about my first work out…and while he was happy and supportive, I could sense something was bothering him. As we talked, he admitted…he is jealous. He wishes he could do it with me. Wishes he could get out there and run…or ride a bike…or do some sort of exercise like a normal person. I have to be honest – in all my wildly unexpected excitement to start this challenge; I hadn’t even considered that he might feel envy. It’s just another of those frustrating moments when you just wish, with every fiber of your being that somehow, someway he’d have a physical breakthrough and be able to do what you and I take for granted everyday. That he could just stand up and take off walking, or running. It’s just so, SO frustrating. We’re glad he has the set up in our basement to go down and ride his recumbent bike…but to actually ride a bike out on the street, or on a path…would be too risky. If it’s not his balance, it’s his coordination, or his lack of control, or his slow response time…they all just conspire against him all the time. It’s so completely unfair…but at the end of the day, what can you do? You can be upset…sad, frustrated, angry, jealous and feel so bad for yourself…but nothing, NOTHING good is going to come from that thinking. And so we do our best to brush it off and move on. Matt will be there to support me as I try something new and challenging…and he will be there on the sidelines to cheer me on when I do finish my first race…and even if he has a twinge of jealousy, I know he won’t let that flicker grow into a flame…he’ll quash it, like always. Because ultimately we both know that there is always, much to be thankful for.

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