bicycle, bicycle race,

Ad 120!

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Ad 120!

Ad (pronounced ah-d, not like add), means until.

Moses lived until 120 years old.

When someone has a birthday, I always wish them some combination of happiness, love, success, wealth, joy, adventure, purpose, and of course, my favorite of all of them, health.

Health is the most meaningful to me because without it the rest don’t matter. You could spend a lifetime of savings and inheritance on attaining health or at least maintaining what health you have. When you don’t feel well your only purpose is to feel better. You become consumed with a profound sense of what you had and what you lost and doing whatever you can to bring health back. Adventure becomes unthinkable for a myriad of reasons. Love? It becomes a challenge to accept yourself, let alone love yourself. And who knows if you will ever find someone to love you. Happiness? That we have to make for ourselves (no matter what our condition).

I also know what it means to be betrayed by your own body. To doubt, from that fateful day forward, whether or not you really are “okay”. I have learned to go out and grab life by the horns, tenaciously holding on around each turn (and some of them are sharp). However, the thought does enter my mind daily.

You see, in my last year of my third decade, I was training to run a half marathon. I thought it would be a nice way to close out the decade. I was the picture of health, three weeks away from the race when my life changed irreversibly.

As a result of my condition, I could no longer continue training for my big event. I would’ve probably completed my run, but I became depressed and scared for my future. I was overcome with fear and I developed anxiety. I couldn’t think about my race.

Learning To Live Again

Since that day, I have entertained every manner of internal demon known to mankind –  fear, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, addiction, orthorexia, agoraphobia, feelings of inadequacy, disfigurement, the list goes on and on….

Yet, here I am. Another breath to be grateful for, another day to feel sunshine on my skin, another hug, another race…

This year I celebrate my mid-forties. I do not deny my age and I do not let it define me.

I am humbled by what my body has allowed me to accomplish and see, and where it has taken me.

I relish the opportunity to get to know it (my body) better, to make sense of my loss, and use my experience to inform how I live the rest of my life. 

 

I continue to rely on diet, exercise, and meditation as my cairns to guide me along this uphill, winding path I call my journey.

Looking Forward

I have, yet again, set a high goal for myself. This coming summer I plan to ride the Triple Bypass, a bike race in the Rocky Mountains going up three passes from Evergreen to Avon, spanning 120 miles.

On this anniversary of the thing that threatened my very existence, I strive against all odds (mental and physical) to reach for 120.   And of all the things I wish for ….. ad 120.