We’re Each Blessed

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Triathlon

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The swim, the bike and then the run. If that wasn’t enough, I walked to the party after the triathlon, then mustered the energy to ride my bike home. Yes, my muscles cried out, but all of that training was aimed at that one thing; a finish without a collapse! Those were the glory days and now I yearn for them. They were the wonder days before osteonecrosis had eaten my ankles; pulmonary hypertension had robbed me of lung capacity.

Was I good? That’s not the point; but truth be told, I wasn’t. The point is that I met the challenge, the training where months of preparation culminated in one day. I wasn’t an elite athlete or even close to elite; but I finished! I loved the hubbub, and adrenaline rush. I also loved that I met wonderful people who became lifelong friends. Unfortunately, not long after my last triathlon I was diagnosed with lupus. I was robbed and lupus was the thief.

But I can’t let that get me down. I know there are people who have lupus or another illness worse than I or don’t have the support that I do, so I suppose it all ‘comes out in the wash.’ Below is the way I chose to frame those ‘dog days.’

Years ago, a friend who was a very brittle diabetic suggested we play a game:  We’d each threw a problem we’d like to be rid of into the center of an imaginary circle. Whoa, that felt wonderful-while it lasted! Then the rules were read to us-now we had to take back a problem.

Imagine the scramble as we each grabbed the problem with which we were familiar. To borrow a phrase, “it’s the devil you know, versus the devil you don’t know!”

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6 thoughts on “We’re Each Blessed

  1. Pingback: Triathlons

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  3. I’m sorry to hear of your struggles with lupus.

    It’s ironic, I’m an avid cyclist and one of the guys I rode with for many years (and one of the better cyclists in the group) was diagnosed with lupus. If it’s any consolation he still rides quite a bit; albeit not as much or with the intensity of before, but enough to maintain himself in good shape.

    My suggestion is to do whatever you can to stay active. If triathlons are too demanding consider just cycling or walking, pitching horseshoes, target shooting, ping pong. The point is to find something you enjoy and stick with it.

    Good luck!

    • Thank you for your compassion; I still love to watch triathlons and am in touch with friends from years gone by who still do them. Water exercise is it for me right now, but I keep the picture taken at the Chicago triathlon years ago with me in my wetsuit, emerging from Lake Michigan after the swim-as an inspiration. I ‘m sure triathlons aren’t in my future, but I like to think that after this rough spot, there will be more athletic events that I can think about. PING PONG? (Most of my joints are short due to steroids 🙁

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