Monday, September 10, 2012

The Forest and the Trees

So in the first hiccup in my life ever, the Brainpower 5k did not go how I had hoped. The simple truth is that there were multiple people whose fault it was, mine primarily. I was on pace and would have absolutely broken 18 and possibly won it (2 guys were in front of me when I got lost but I was saving it till the end and had plenty left). Yet I missed a turn near the end and don’t know how I did it but  joked around that one of my noted deficits is spatial orientation. In the end my GPS watch said I’d done 3.5 at a faster pace than it would have taken to break my goal and close to what the winners got but I came in at 20. If you think I was happy at the end of that race… you don’t read this blog very well. But I took and walked a lap around the track… walked back to the end, cheered some of my teammates in and then went back out on the course with my running stroller and finished with my mom and my little girl.

I feel bad both about my own ending to this race but I feel worse because I helped with the organizing and brought a few more serious runners than last year and didn’t do enough to help with those logistics so some of those guys who actually won their age group didn’t even show up in the results. Maybe I should have encouraged them to make sure if it was actually a race to do it with chips or maybe more like some other charity runs where there are no prizes for the winners just completion… But even as I got frustrated afterwards, one of my teammates pointed out that doesn’t matter what your time was, we raised over $2000 for brain cancer research. And that’s right. Now the overachiever in me wants to make sure we correct some of the other things for this year and more carefully balance the fine line between a race and a fundraiser…

My coincidence the new neuro-oncologist was there speaking and I spoke to him during the event and we are going to set up the appointment. Like the neuro-oncologist they were more concerned with the neuropsychological evaluation than with the MRI since that’s looking solid. And there I might have missed something, my IQ is in the 99th percentile but parts of my working memory are in the 12th and 21st percentile. I keep focusing on the positive and trying to ignore some deficits but they are not mutually exclusive. Being both over and under cautious with anything can lead to trouble.

For whatever it’s worth, now that I have no health insurance, it’s a whole new ballgame to negotiate and navigate the healthcare system… I don’t recommend it either way.

But the brainpower 5k was a winner. As I drove there I realized that with twice as many participants, twice as much money raised, I am taking almost 20 friends and family that didn't run it last year. Not even at the start line yet…I was well ahead of last year. Damaged brain but the heart still works. More importantly than all of those, this was my mom’s first race ever as we train for a half marathon! And we crossed that finish line with 3 generations!

But look, let me say this straight forwards, I’m still planning on breaking an 18 minute 5k sometime. And a lot of the last 2 years has felt like dealing with a lot of demons in  hell but appropriately I was reading some of Dante’s inferno:

By such a curse as theirs none is so lost
that the eternal Love cannot return
as long as hope maintains a thread of green

So there are moments where I think not breaking an 18 minute 5k is a bigger deal than the fact that we raised a lot of money. And there are times where I get annoyed at Kiana’s mother for being less than adequate at being so but then remember I get to walk my daughter to school everyday. And there are times where I get annoyed at some neurological functions lost and tell the doctors, I didn’t fight this just to keep breathing and then as I wake her up I realize that with every breath of mine, I get to watch one more of her. So I’m still wet behind the ears on a lot of this and some days like the 5k today that I’d trained so hard aren’t going to go well but… some of that hope still has a thread of green. 

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