Shortly after my last post I received a phone call from the doctor I had seen about my injury. She called to inform me that another team of doctors had looked over my photos and highly suggested that I immediately come in for an MRI. They said it was very likely that I had torn a tendon in my leg. Keep in mind that I was limping like a pirate and could barely walk at this time. I had my PCP book an MRI for me and made the trek to the facility. The neat thing was that they offered to play music while the MRI is being done. It actually took 25 minutes for the scan to be done. I am a big blues fan so I made a request for a blues station to be played. The first song came on and the chorus went “I ain’t gonna run no more”. How fitting.
Finally, I saw a specialist and had braced myself for the worst of news. Turns out that I have a highly strained tendon in my left leg. It is not torn, just very “pulled”. What does that really even mean? Any who, this guy was a book of knowledge. He must have been in his late 70s or early 80s and gave me so much information about running and how much impact we place on the human body when running long distances. He told me that the healing process would take from 2 to 12 weeks. That is a hell of a time range. I pulled my tendon on August 5th and had not felt confident to run until today. I have been going to the gym to lift weights and use a stationary bike as a substitute. I would throw myself on the treadmill every other day to see if my leg was up for getting back to the battle. After only seconds of jogging I would feel my leg lock up and the pain come back, so I knew to hold off. Today, I approached the treadmill and ran just over a mile with no pain, pulling or symptoms. Papa bear is back, baby.
The biggest smile came over my face. I even tried to hold it back at first because I did not want to look like some creep smiling on a treadmill, who really loves it that much? I guess this guy does. I must have looked like Will Ferrell in Elf.
That is not the only good news I have. A friend of mine who works for the Mass Commission for the Blind informed me that the BAA has extended time qualified registration for visually impaired runners until some time in December. This extension has been given because the largest VI marathon takes place in California on December 2nd. Ultimately, this means I still have time to enter as a time qualified runner for the 2013 Boston Marathon as long as I heal well and pace myself correctly. There is still a chance to go after this goal. Yes, I will still enter no matter what, at the very least as a charity runner, but this route does carry a little more meaning for me.
I am back to the grind and am hitting it harder than ever before. I will become 10 times stronger, will train more strategically and will push myself harder than I ever have before. I will cross the 2013 Boston Marathon finish line no matter what.
This year has been an incredible mixture of things. Difficult, depressing and dark certainly come to mind. On the other hand, the words grounding, humbling and directive also make the list. I set out on a mission in January of last year and I am going to accomplish it. Yes my parents are gone, but I still have a nephew, there are still all the people who reached out to me during my training and posting of my blog because they found such connection and energy with what I am trying to give to them.
Running in the Boston Marathon was one of the greatest things my parents had taken such pride in. I feel extremely close to them when I run, train and do anything related to preparing for a marathon. It had become the pinnacle of seeing that I had overcome going blind. Their son had more than just made it, he soared above it and was going to share that with others who are in similar situations.
My uncle is an amazing artist and happens to be one of the most talented and respected jewelers in his state. The day of the memorial service for my parents came and he gave me a piece that he had created. It’s a beautiful cross with incredibly fine images of leaves and plants etched on one side and on the other rests the names of my parents. My parents never told my sister and I to follow any religious figure in any specific way. They gave us the freedom to find our own way into religion and create our own meanings and stories. They were very spiritual people and my sister and I follow that tradition. I do not subscribe to any specific religion because there is something I find so personal to me in numerous faiths; Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. Amongst all of the figures from these faiths, I do find great connection to Jesus. The story of Jesus is powerful to me because I simply think of a human being who wanted to give love. My friends can testify that this is all my parents ever did. They stepped in, embraced, loved and welcomed so many of my friends who did not come from a place where that was present. I now share that love and support for others as well and nothing will stop me from doing that. I will show anyone with or with out a disability that they can do the things they once thought were impossible. If anyone told them differently, I am here to pound my fist down and shout above those voices.
When I lift my weights and feel like giving up, I think of my parents and gently touch the cross on my necklace. I think of them and all of the love they gave me over the past 26 years. They would tell me one more set and that I have to become as strong as I can possibly become. I have to show the people who are doubting themselves that they can do whatever they please. Some where out there, there is another boy who is 13 years old and has just been told he is going blind. He is probably scared about many things. I will find him, and tell him it is all alright and show him what I have done to prove it is true.
It’s time to eat hard boiled eggs, do my sets of 70 push ups, curl weight that is 3/4 my body weight and run until I drop. The 2013 Boston Marathon is only 7 months away. It’s time to kick some ass.