Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Lion's Pride

Today is Livestrong day. Appropriately enough I have an appointment there for counseling… yesterday I went and got a Mohawk for Hawktober, brain cancer awareness month. A couple of hours after that I have a big medical appointment where Austin’s first ever neuro-oncologist will weigh in on what having presented the case to tons of doctors come in. A couple of weeks after that I return to Duke.   This, like that scar and that tattoo, are party of my identity.
I've been biking and running and applying for jobs, still not ready to accept the disabled label. 3 years ago when I started running again it was with the Austin marathon relay. Back then I ran my leg at about a 7:00 minute pace and our team then had got a 3:10 time. This year, our team won the marathon relay in a time of 2:43.34 and I ran my leg at about 6:06. And I keep listening to Bon Jovi’s hold on to what you got, it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not, we’ve got each other and that’s a lot, for Love, we’ll give it a shot.  At some level, I want to fall in love and tell someone I want to know what Love is, I want you to show me for the spontaneity and randomness of it all. The honest truth is for the last race was the first time I hadn’t made a playlist for a race in forever and I didn’t have a GPS watch and was just going to go out and jog it (it may have had something to do with the fact that I’d ran 19 miles before with the group I’m training). But the competitive nature and streak came out, it came out and as I started seeing the first 2 relay groups go out… I borrowed a GPS watch and created a playlist on my iphone and when it was time to go, I went and went and went. The elite time of 10ks, how you get into the first wave of races is to break 38 minutes so with exhausted legs, I went to push and push and push and ended up getting 37:45 and winning my leg of the relay with my team winning the whole thing.

I met with the guy coordinating the Livestrong 15th anniversary and he sat and asked some questions so he could present a more full story at their anniversary. They told me tickets were $1000 a head and my reaction internally was well I can't afford that and then he said they would be giving me 2 of them. I have no clue who you invite to that type of thing. One friend said you should get a date for that which is an amusing thought since he said they might show the video and if that's not the most awkward first date ever... He said that people had requested to sit at my table and meet them… which blows my mind frankly… That meeting was appropriately enough right before the cancer and transitions classes and to both them and him I had acknowledged that my face name recognition is less than adequate. Appropriately, frustratingly enough I couldn’t remember of the guy who had sat next to me, whose name was Leon… I made far more thorough notes the second time around.

Still, when I went to go the Mohawk last night, I biked up there both because I don’t want to ask people for help any more than necessary and to train for that 100 mile bike ride in 3 weeks. Yet the pride that doesn’t want to ask anyone for help still asked for a ride to West Texas this weekend on facebook because I don’t want to miss my mother’s first half marathon no matter what…

I helped run regionals for ultimate frisbee again as I did 2 years ago, a few days before the seizure that would start all this. I asked for a lot more help and wasn’t even the tournament director, just assisted her with it, helping make some things happen but she was awesome.

Still, I’ve been walking Kiana to school and to many many places some a few miles away (on those I use the stroller). But I’m in shape so there’s nothing to complain about. And Kiana has been fine with running and walking even on a cold rainy day. Today as it was chilly she said can you just hold me and carry me and I’ll do all the upper body work I have to do that as long as I need. How long the driving restriction lasts will be told to me today… what medications to play with will be consulted with me today as well as Duke in 2 weeks… Yeah I’m nervous, yeah I’m worried, yeah I’m frustrated but the day will end with a bike ride to and from a track workout and a little girl getting kissed good night.

My pride through this helped me put off a brain surgery to run a marathon, it makes me bike instead of asks for rides unless absolutely necessary, it’s making me go broke in other ways, but the right part of this Lion’s pride is his child… And I hope to always do right by her even on days like today, Livestrong day, where at the beginning of the day, some of that is incredibly clear and some of that is clear as mud. Here is hoping more is clear and less is muddy at the end of the day. Still even on the days it's unclear I have a little girl who stops and smells the flowers all the time and at some level, that's good she helps me slow down to do that. If that's not living strong, I'm not sure what is.

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