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Life is for Living

I don't know about you, but some days I sit at the keyboard and wonder what the future holds. I can tell you there was a long time when I sat lamenting the poor choices of the past and dreading the future as a fat old sick guy. In April 2011, a week long stay in ICU changed my life. I just thought I was sick.

I had no idea how close I was to the end due to congestive heart failure.

I was somewhat of a spiritual person before I got sick. I prayed, enjoyed my church community and even preached a few sermons. I felt close to God, even blessed. Emotionally, for decades, I struggled with depression and a variety of other negative self talk. Physically I was sore and tired, as well as getting sick a few times a year. I had a lower back that would go out and leave me in bed for a few days at a time. My knee ached and my foot was sore from plantar fasciitis.

All of that has changed.

Sure I have spent about $200,000 in medical procedures, surgeries and medication. I didn't stop praying and I had little or no results from therapy. What I did do was count calories and start exercising and running. I had a lot of obstacles, but I kept pressing on. I lost over 70 pounds and ran my first 5K after a year of C25K.  43 races later, I have even finished 2 marathons. (and wrote a book about it)

I haven't even had a cold in over 2 years (except running related dyhydration) and my medicated depression is gone.

I pray less because I am blessed more and I run more because my prayers were answered. Changing my lifestyle has made a big difference. Without overeating I have survived months of unemployment, 4 cancer diagnosis and related treatments and as disappointed as I am about it, separation.

My changes have made a difference in how I think, what I believe about me and probably who I am as a human.

I still have health challenges although most everything seems to be at bay for the moment. I still have to work, commute and be a dad, but I am also a runner and I need to run. I did not run the San Francisco Marathon in hopes of managing things at home this past July. However, I am running the Chicago Marathon in October. I trained for it, I planned for it and I can't wait to be there.

Whatever amount of days I have left in life, I am grateful for my wakeup call 3 years ago. I am grateful for the MFP community and I am thankful to God for allowing me to do something that matters to me. All my life I waited for God, for doctors and physicians, and for other professionals to help me feel better, look better and be free.

I found all that in running.

I am medication free, I hope I am cancer free and my heart disease is "like it never happened." I have life each day and I make the most of it. I don't sit around trying to fix anything, I plan to be with friends, eat healthy and fit in a run 6 days a week. the rest of my life will take care of itself.

One More Reason I Hate Running

Today was the run from hell. I got up, drank coffee, unboxed a new pair of running shoes, pulled the rest of my gear together, completed the election cycle, put my drinks and food in the car and hit the road to meet my run bud about 30 minutes away.

It was 79 degrees and 93% humidity.

I had to pee so I ran into McDonalds to use the restroom. They were cleaning the bathrooms. It was the first time this decade probably, so that took their time, making me a little late.

Bud and me finally meet up at the entrance to the bike trail. I Glide up, slather on sunscreen, tape my nipples, put on my Roo filled with GUs, retie my shoes, and reach to fill my water bottles. WTF are my water bottles? Apparently I left them on the roof of the car in the driveway. Fine, I hate the damn things anyway! I am tough, I don't need water anyway.

We decide to do some drive-byes and hydrate that way. 2 miles east, 2 miles west, get a drink, 2 miles west, 2 miles east - this is effing stupid. I decide to carry the 20 ounce bottle of Gatorade in my hand... This really sucks! So I run 5 miles and set it on the ground. My arm is numb and my Achilles is killing me; all from holding the bottle. We do a few more miles and head back. I grab that bottle and drink the rest, get GU and all then.... We pass a very good looking woman with large breasts. I say hello and she gives me the "I didn't notice you" look off to the woods as she remains emotionless.

My run bud is like, 'What's up with that, doesn't she know you are a famous author?"

We do 15 miles or something like that. At the car, I realized I somehow shut off my phone app and only recorded 12. The skin on my chest is on fire and so are my nipples. The tape is somewhere in my compression shorts! Screw it, I just want to towel off and put on a dry shirt, have a bagel and go home. Apparently my towel and dry shirt were with the water bottles I don't need or want any longer. My Achilles is killing me, and well, that is why I love running.

A preview of David's newest book about pathtic runners.
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