Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Clean Slate

Since the diagnosis in March there's been a blurry dividing line separating "before" and "after". Do I count the first onset of obvious symptoms, like when Lhermitte's Sign crept up on me in September of 2010 while my wife and I were on a trip to Portland for our 10th Anniversary, or do I go back further to earlier episodes, like when both feet started going numb at work six months earlier than that? I could go back even further, when short spells of fatigue would hit me late in the day, even though I was handling a light training load?

The truth is it doesn't matter. Reconstructing these past episodes might be good for establishing a timeline for my neurologist, but it's not good for me. I don't want to turn this blog into Rotten Tomatoes, but I just saw the movie 50/50, which took me right back to my diagnosis and the difficult months before and after. I was sick to my stomach during the scene where the main character receives his devastating diagnosis (his doctor had the same bedside manner as mine), and I don't think I'll ever be comfortable watching any movie where a character gets and MRI. It was a good movie, but it reaffirmed that while these things happen, it doesn't serve me to dwell on them.

This leaves me with enjoying the present and looking forward to the future, which brings me to a more hopeful dividing line. As of July 20 of this year I am officially a Masters runner. This is a line that everyone who lives long enough crosses, and in my case it brings with it less baggage than the onset of an illness.

I honestly have no idea how my performances at age 40 and beyond will compare to my younger years, and if I do this right I won't care. The point is, I woke up a little over a week ago wanting to train again, and that's enough for now.


Grellan said...

Belated happy birthday Mike and welcome to the club. I didn't start running till I turned 40 - when I woke up and wanted to run for the first time in my life.

Thomas said...

Yes, happy late birthday. I'm particularly glad to see you sounding a good bit happier.

I loved my 40th birthday. I won my first age group trophy three days later, and ever since I've been a fairly regular feature on the podium.

Age has its privileges.

downeastrunning said...

I turn 40 next week.