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I’ll Run Again In Heaven – Part 3
This is an excerpt from a chapter of my ebook. When I wrote that, it brought back memories. A person forgets many things throughout his life. This ebook and this chapter shook cobwebs for me. If you want to know more, go to my website.
In high school, college, and into my 30s, I was an excellent athlete. My brother and I could play any sport with ease. I’m not bragging, but we were generally among the best players in every sport we tried. In January 1982, when I started managing my first racquet club, I knew what racquetball was, but I played very sporadically and wasn’t very good at it. I decided in January 1984 that if I was going to run this club, I should be a better racquetball player. I learned to play by observing good players and playing for an hour a day.
I also decided that I had become too fat and that something had to be done! Between January 1984 and May 1984, I lost 30 pounds in what became the yo yo diet of all time. I have gained and lost those same 20-30 lbs about 8 times. The only problem with my multiple sclerosis now is that I can’t burn calories like I used to. Anyway, in the summer of 1984 I was playing level A racquetball. When I left the clubs in 1987 I was a low level open player (open is the highest level). I also started jogging and cycling in 1985. I was running 2 miles a day. A friend and I could easily be seen cycling 20 miles on country roads near Mankato in the spring and summer. The highlight for me was the 60 mile bike race at the Jesse James Day celebration in Northfield in 1985. I remember telling my friend that if it was really hot I couldn’t ride the 60 miles because of my asthma. Looking back, I probably had heat issues from my MS when I was cycling and the usual uncomfortable feelings. On race day it was hot but there was a good breeze blowing so I was able to cycle the 60 miles and complete my athletic challenges. If it was winter, I could be seen riding my exercise bike for an hour every day.
After moving to Minneapolis in 1987 I really started running and by the spring of 1988 I was running 5 miles a day. Because of my asthma, I never thought I could run this far, but by setting my pace and running through the streets of Minneapolis, I proved to myself that I could do it! Then, in the summer of 1988, I ran an 8K at the Grand Old Days celebration in St. Paul, Minnesota. I ran the 8 km in 36.5 minutes or an average of 7:30 miles. I was very proud of myself to finish let alone what I thought was a very good time for an asthmatic. I kept running until 1991 when I kept pulling a muscle in my right calf. I would rest 3 or 4 days but the first time I ran again I would pull the muscle again. I’ve done it about four times. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with MS and decided to stop running.
I had started playing golf with a girlfriend in 1988 and 1990. I played seriously and slowly learned to play well. I was a double bogey golfer when I was diagnosed in 1991. I had a good round once in a while which kept me coming back to the golf courses. The
the reason i am telling you all this is because i was a good athlete, very coordinated and had good dexterity. Everything has changed in the last 16 years and it has really changed in the last 2 years.
I’m 49 now and my MS has gotten worse over the past year. Sometimes I forget how much I’ve cycled and run. I also forget how fit I was in 1988. However, I now ride my electric scooter 90% of the time and in my apartment I use a walker to help me walk and keep my balance . Stay tuned for more MS-related thoughts.
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