So, this is kind of a funny story.
In a few months, I'm supporting my brother's insane (and recent, and healthy) weight loss by "competing" in a stair climb race. (I put it in quotes as he anticipates finishing in a time roughly 3x that of the expected winner - I'll probably be ahead of him, but not by that much.) The sponsor of the event is the American Lung Association, which is great and all, but we chose the event mostly based on the fact that the building we'll be climbing (twice! 31 stories times two climbs, for 62 stories) is immediately adjacent to our hometown.
But I do have a connection with the ALA, which is that I nearly died of a pulmonary embolism 18 months ago. It still kind of freaks me out to say that. It doesn't feel like I "nearly died," it felt like I had some chest pain and then was home a few days later, on blood thinners with some swank hospital-issue slipper/socks.
The ALA sent out an email blast yesterday, promoting the event and offering training tips. In small print at the bottom, the email asked for personal stories. Sure! I emailed them my tale, and less than an hour later they called back to say they were interested in my story and would love to use it in an upcoming issue of a local sports magazine. Sure!
The next step is that I'm to send them photos. I need to take a few new ones, I think - I have some from earlier this summer, and I'm pleased to say that I've trimmed down since then. I also have some from... before... and I'll send them at least one of those, but it feels a tad deceptive to know that I'm like 40 pounds heavier now than I was before.
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"