I have read and heard people say over and over “whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. I don’t know if I believe that. But, I can say for sure whatever doesn’t kill you will leave you with a scar. How you decide to deal with that scar is up to you.
I have a lot of scars. Physical scars and emotional scars. Here is a breakdown of just some of my physical scars. The more obvious ones are as follows:
I have a scar on my forehead from chicken pox when I was a kid. A scar over my eye from a fight I got in when I was in high school. A bunch of scars on my legs and arms from running through the woods and building barb wire fences. I also have a significant scar on my stomach from surgery when I had one meter of my small intestine removed thanks to my Crohn’s disease. Oh yeah, I also lost a front tooth form a stupid night out when I was in college.
My emotional scars run deep. They are hard for me to list but I will do my best. Ready? Lets start the list:
I have emotional scars from being a fat kid who was lonely and sad. I was very introverted and painfully insecure. I was always told I was smart but still to this day I don’t think I am that bright. Boys are supposed to love sports but as a kid group sports didn’t come easy to me. This is probably why I gravitated to individual sports like cycling, swimming and running. I still played team sports but I never loved them and to this day I still don’t. I remember playing goalie in soccer cause I was the fat kid and in the late 70s and early 80s that is where the fat kid went. As I got older I got fit and I learned my way and started to focus on girls. Girls were tough to learn about as a young man. I got my heart broken a few times and then I got cold hearted promising myself to do the heartbreaking and not get heart broken again. I probably missed out on a lot of great opportunities because of this attitude.
I remember I went to college cause I didn’t want to work and I didn’t want to join the military. little did I know at the time that the military is work! College was fun (as it should be). But, I was there with out direction. I bounced from major to major class to class from girl to girl and party to party. Eventually I picked a major for probably for the worst reasons ever. I picked my major because I only needed to take one math class (about 15 years later I took college algebra and loved it) and at that time I loathed all forms of mathematics. As it turns out I did pick a great major for me but sadly I have yet to ever use my degree. I would love to get a recreation management job but right now I settle for coaching all sorts of sports. When I was in college I made some incredible friends who I miss dearly. I even met the woman I ended up marrying and having a great child with. But as with all things in my life college ended, I lost touch with friends and my marriage fell to pieces. However, (thankfully) my daughter is still in my life and we have a great relationship.
During that time after college I worked various sales jobs but settled with a military career. The Air Force moved me all over the world and gave me a hand full of all expenses paid trips to horrible places. I was in the Air Force for 8 years when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After my diagnosis I had a meter of my small intestine removed and I was retired from the Air Force. I got a job with the DoD and I was doing pretty well when I settled in Florida. The bad news was my job was awful and upon recommendation from my Dr. I quit my job and todayI find myself at a precipice.
Now I sit back and I think to myself where do I go? What should I do? The answers are obvious… I move onward and upward. I take the road less traveled. I don’t know if I am stronger but life has not ended.
I am now taking the time to think what do I want to do with my life? I have Jordan in my life and I don’t waste our time together. I have a new girlfriend who I try to always have fun with. Instead of having a midlife crisis and buying a Porsche (which I almost did a few months ago). I do volunteer work, I challenge myself physically. I go on long runs and I go on short runs. The one thing all my runs have in common are that they are slow. I just don’t have the gift of speed. Today I went 4 miles and it was painful for me. I didn’t have energy and I was breathing hard my muscles were straining and I felt weak. I could tell my Iron and B-12 were low (thanks Crohn’s disease) as usual. But I used that as an excuse tonight to get a Big juicy burger. I have a goal of completing a half marathon in a about 1 month and 2 days. I just hope I feel better than I did today. Even if I don’t feel better I refuse to quit and I’ll walk it if I have to. My runs make me feel better (even when I struggle) about myself. They remind me that my disease has not beaten me.
I have a great friend (alice) and she motivates me. I am inspired by her running. One day she mentioned that she was nursing a running injury and she told me to run an extra mile for her. Every time I struggle I remind myself that plenty of people are not capable of running and I should go a little harder or a little further for them.
Everyday I wake up with sore muscles It reminds me I am alive and that I refused to waste the gift.