Sunday, May 18, 2014

Taking Chances

Runners World posted this quote this morning on Facebook.
"Sport, like all of life, is about taking your chances." ~ Sir Roger Bannister, MD the first man to break the 4 minute mile.

Seven years ago on 5/25/07, I took a huge chance. I walked away from my career as a VA social worker just "3 years shy of retirement" to heal my life and follow my passion as a poet and writer after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006.

In February of 2008, I took another huge chance by declaring that I wanted to run the 2009 Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital where I had taken the first steps on my healing journey. My personal trainer,Janine Hightower, my coach Domenick D'Amico, Spaulding's Race for Rehab Team, the Marathon Sports family and my family joined me in taking that chance and on 4/20/2009, we crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

In 2011, in the wake of my nephew's suicide, I experienced a relapse of post polio syndrome.

I stopped running. I isolated myself from the running community. I went on a long and winding road trying to find my way home to myself.

After April of last year, I returned to the roads and to the running community.

At first, my plan was to run 5K's and not be concerned about my time.

Then I decided, I am going to train for the Tufts 10K in October.

Last Sunday, at the end of my 5 mile training run, I pushed myself to see what pace I could run for a short period of time.

I checked my Nike+ activity yesterday after our run on Heartbreak Hill. My pace is improving and yesterday, I was able to do negative splits.

I'm beginning to push myself again and test my limits with mindfulness. I feel this deep in my soul.

It was wonderful to return to the roads and the running community but it wasn't enough to just be out there. Although it is a miracle that, given the diagnosis and all that I have been through, I can run, I cannot settle for just being out there.

I am resurrecting the runner within me. I have my sights set on another half marathon but first I'll see how the Tufts 10K goes and how I respond to increased mileage. I believe that I can do this.

I don't know what's possible or how far or how fast I can go this time. Personal best is not just about the time on the finish line clock.

I am training now and giving it my all with a sense of purpose and passion.

The outcome doesn't matter.

What does matter is that I not settle.

What does matter is whether in sports or in life it's all about taking chances.

My memoir "Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.

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