I am starting my training for the NYC Marathon. Well, I actually started about a month ago but the bulging disks in my back popped out so I had to stop. How did they pop out you ask? I coughed. Yes, I coughed and they went out. Boy you must have coughed pretty violently to cause your back to go out. Yes I did. Why you ask? Well I have Cystic Fibrosis so I cough all the time. It’s really fun! It makes you feel really cool. Especially when I’m in a large group and I start hacking. No no, I’ll be fine. No I don’t need water. Yeah, it’s a bad case of asthma (everyone seems to understand that one and can sympathize.) People look at you disgusted when you cough on the street or the subway. Not that I blame them, I do the same thing when someone is hacking in my vicinity. It’s especially fun at the gym when I run on the treadmill. People will move to a machine farther away from me or, you know, just give me that disgusted dirty look that I have become accustomed to.
So the purpose of this blog will be to update everyone (emphasis on the one) of you that is interested in my progress during this crazy goal of mine. It is not to educate you on CF. Hell if I could do that I would be a doctor. I just know I wake myself up coughing at night. If you want to know more about CF you can go to www.cff.org/AboutCF
Anyway, I never in a million years thought that I would run the marathon but last year while I cheered my friend Terry on to his second finish in as many years I got very inspired. I watched runners at mile 22 who’s determination and persistence seemed like the only things keeping them going. Their body telling them they should stop, their heart pushing them forward. It occurred to me that it is a metaphor for life. You must keep going no matter how hard it gets. The payoff is worth it.
I started seeing members of Team Boomer who were running to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research and that is when I committed. I want to do my part for this community. I want to contribute to the research and eventual cure for this bullshit disease. I also want to test myself, push myself and be able to say a big F-You to CF as I cross that finish line. Hopefully along the way all the training will bump up my lung functions as well. A couple of percentage points would be nice at least. I think I’m a little over 50% right now. I’ll get the exact number so we can compare as we go.
My plan is to be as candid as possible in this blog. So I might throw a few F bombs out there when I am feeling particularly angry at this disease. Sorry in advance. But you have now been warned. So fuck you. 🙂
Oh, I guess I should tell you who I am. I just assumed that anyone interested in this already knows me. If you haven’t guessed by now I have Cystic Fibrosis. I was diagnosed at age six, the same year I became interested in ballet. Looking back that was a big year for me. Both days are still very clear in my memory. I remember the day I had my sweat test to determine if I had CF, alone with a strange doctor in a small, white walled room lit by fluorescent lights, being hooked up to these electrode things, and not really understanding why I had to be there. Just as vivid is the day I decided I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Just the complete opposite feeling of the doctors office. Class field trip to see Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker, surrounded by hundreds of other children, excitement, energy. The lights went down, the curtain rose, the dancing started and by intermission I wanted to try it for myself.
I went on to have a professional career as a ballet dancer despite my having CF. Dancing probably helped me to remain as healthy as I was. To the point where I kind of ignored the fact that I even had CF. I was afraid having it would affect my ability to get work as a dancer so I didn’t tell anyone, not even my closest friends. Including the previously mentioned Terry. That is well past me and I now tackle the disease head on. Complying with all my prescribed treatments.
My dancing career is over but not because of CF. Due to injuries. Even if I was able to continue dancing my career would probably be coming to an end or over now. 38 years old is ancient for dancers. In fact it’s pretty old for CF patients as well. I count myself lucky that I have a mild mutation of the gene. It still sucks to have it, but I know it could suck even more. So for all of us in the CF community I will run to raise money to finally find a cure for this time consuming, thought consuming, lung clogging suck ass disease.
Off to the gym to run on the treadmill. Still too cold to run outside. Winter sucks! Thanks for reading.