LOOKING FOR THE ELECTRIC STARTER – MILE 4
Made it to the park yesterday and was able to get 8.25 more miles under my belt. I’m guessing that brings me to about 70 total miles to date. Yes, I know this is minimal and many of you do that, and more, in one day. It’s taking me longer to understand how to use those 23 gears as well as get used to that skinny hard seat! I look at my Harley next to my bike with that beautifully padded air seat and back rest and wonder…then a bit of Zen takes over and I grab the bike(cycle).
By the way, remember that hill I had to walk the bike up in “Mile 2”; no more walking!
I am still trying to figure out whether getting into shape gets harder and slower as you age, or is it that at a certain age physical deterioration slows down as you exercise? And at what age is that tipping point? I think the “biological clock” should be re-titled the “mitochondrial clock.”
Only “Mile 4” and already you may think I have replaced my newly discovered mechanism of propulsion, peddling, with running. Not so, I haven’t lost interest and I sure as heck have not decided to pound the pavement in lieu of pounding the peddles. I have, however, befriended an outstanding runner; an athlete with impact dedicated to a cause.
Evan was born a happy, healthy baby and by 2008 was an energetic four-year-old when out of the clear blue he began complaining of a sore stomach and was hospitalized for appendicitis. Seizures, brain impairment, and quadriplegia soon followed. About a year later, now in a wheelchair, Evan has trouble producing enough energy to hold his head up or digest food, and needs constant care. He was finally diagnosed with mitochondrial disease.
Evan’s parents, Blaine and Sarah, had a choice; to become part of the cure and control the disease or to become another victim of mitochondrial disease and allow it to control them?
Blaine, a long time cross country skier, stepped out of his ski boots and into running shoes and now qualifies as an Ultra-Marathoner. He’s not your typical marathoner and you can usually pick him out in the pack. He’s the one running with his son, Evan, in his pushchair.
Evan and Blaine recently competed in the “Stampede,” a 1/2 marathon in Calgary. Blaine told me he pushed Evan to a 3rd overall finish out of approximately 500 runners in a time of 1:19. I think it was really Evan who “pulled” his Dad across the finish line!
Some of Blaine’s accomplishments:
He was the 2010 Canadian 50 Mile Ultra Marathon Nation Champion
This past Saturday Blaine won the Iron Legs 50 Mile Ultra Marathon (2nd year in a row)
Place 9th in the Canadian Marathon Championships at Ottawa Marathon in May in a time of 2:34
Blaine also controls the disease by taking on the role of President of “Mito Canada,” UMDF’s counterpart in North America.
Blaine says, “As you can see, running is my therapy and way cheaper than a psychologist!” (I have a sign in my office that reads, “You Never See A Harley Parked in Front of a Psychologist’s Office.”)
Blaine’s update on Evan – “He is stable and has been for about 2 years now. (He got sick 3.5 years ago). The key things for Evan right now are on-going IVIG treatments (which really seem to help his seizures), and he is working with’eye gaze’ technology as a form of communication. He has some physical challenges as he grows combined with high tone – we are looking at installing a Baclofen pump possibly, but Evan will require surgery and botoxin his legs to prevent further dislocation. He also is going to have surgery to close off some of his saliva glands to help withhis drooling. Other than that, he has been getting out with us as a family quite a bit and enjoying the fresh summer mountain air as much as possible.”
Remember: Life isn’t a race, it’s a marathon- Keep on peddling! (and running!)
See you again at the end of mile 5.