Try though I might, I can’t run anymore. My shredded vestibular system cannot handle the vertical rise and fall, and the pounding of the road makes me feel foggy. Plus, there is a limited range in which I can keep my heart rate steady before it feels like my brain will rocket right out of my skull. These are small complaints. I feel mostly okay most days doing what life requires of me, and often more. I feel like I remain more active and energetic than a lot of people. Lately, since it warmed up, I’ve been feeling pretty darn good (knocks wood). So I’ve been walking a lot. Today I did four miles. Walking doesn’t bug my brain, and it’s helping me dump weight – far more slowly than I used to, but it is what it is. Still, there’s this streak in me that gets all uptight and angry when someone runs past me. I should be grateful to be outside exercising. I definitely take my recovery for granted. But I suppose I’ll never shed that competitive streak that got me over mountain tops on a bike, allowed me to descend at 60 MPH to catch the pack, and pushed me across the finish line of a marathon. I used to target people when running or riding. I’d imagine I was pulling them in with a tractor beam as I tried to catch them. It’s not the same when walking. Walking is what you do when you go to check the mail.
Anyway, my good friend Alex told me I should be glad that I got to do all of those things before SCDS hit. Most people don’t. And, of course, he’s right. But some part of me continues to grieve the loss I feel for pieces of my old self.