Friday, December 2, 2016

Best license plate ever.

Connecticut, NO WAR, veteran

And often the parked on my block in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Monday, November 28, 2016

A thing as simple as a handshake.....

Without giving it much thought, many people treat the disabled very poorly. I've been keeping track of those things here. But dear readers, if you're not sure how to treat a recently disabled person I can give you the simple answer right here. We want to be treated just like everybody else. We might not be like everyone else, but we just crave that moment where we can be treated like everybody else.

There's a moment that stands out of my mind. And is one thing that everyone in my world does. We shake hands.

Shaking hands is a little scary for me. Sometimes you do it to someone who you just met in my disability isn't always that apparent and my healing has been the slowest in my wrists and hands. So, shaking hands is somewhat of a challenge to me. The world might value a good firm handshake, but I only have the opposite.

To the left is a picture of my right hand. There are two important things you should know. First it basically looks the same when I try to make a fist or when I try to open all the way, so that's the thing I stick out when people are shaking hands. Second, that hand is actually working a lot better than the left hand so give me a round of applause for being able to hold my phone with my left hand and then take that picture. I actually had to tap the screen with my nose.

When someone takes my hand to shake it the pinky and the next two figures often do not straighten out. So sometimes I think the person I am shaking hands with things I'm trying to tickle them. But no one ever giggles when I shake their hand.

So, with the Thanksgiving holiday winding down, I've interacted with a lot more people in the last week. And it occurs to me now that I'm thankful for all the people who shook my hand.

Friday, November 25, 2016

What time do you go to the dentist?



2:30
Two Thirty
Tooth Hurty

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Well, that exceeded my expectations....

Part of my South Florida family is visiting New York and I got invited to tagalong this weekend for some tourist activities. Saturday was ice-skating at Rockefeller Center, pizza at John's and then dessert at Max Brenner. The pizza was good, and we didn't have to wait online (I really can't imagine waiting online for pizza.) But Rockefeller Center made me realize how happy I was tourists didn't come to my part of Brooklyn in excessively large numbers. And Max Brenner was just a destination for overconsumption. But it was nice to be with family....

So I wasn't really looking forward to going on The Ride today. To the left is an image they use to promote their tour. The thought of being trapped in a bus for 75 minutes with these people really made me a little sick. I mean, we have special buses for tourists just so I don't have to share space with them.

But I did need a change of pace because watching MSNBC all day is making me a little crazy, and again I do like spending time with this part of my family. So, I promised myself, my aunt and my nine-year-old cousin that I would keep my snarkiness inside.

But my snarky side was disappointed. There was no reason for me to be snarky. The hosts/guides were cheerful I might even say joyful in their description of the landmarks we passed. They also found a very family-friendly way to point out that the gift shop in the theater now occupied by Disney used to sell dildos.

On the ride the guides interacted with their audience and they quickly figured out that I would know all the answers to their fun questions. There was a question they threw out there that I should've seen coming. At the moment we had the best view of the Empire State Building they asked us who had ever been to the top. Most of us raised our hands, but when she asked who took the stairs I kept my hand up. Then she asked two quick questions to me to prove I was telling the truth. When did you do it and how long did it take you. I was able to quickly answer 1999 and about 15 minutes. It doesn't matter that I lied a little and it actually took close to 19 minutes. 


Then the tour guide did something for me that meant more to me that she possibly could have imagined. She asked the other riders on the bus to give me a round of applause. For those few seconds I was the guy who made it up the stairs at the Empire State Building. I wasn't the guy who now looks at every curb as a challenge and got stuck in his cousins bathroom that afternoon.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

From Around the Park May 2008

This is my article from the May 2008 edition of Around the Park, the newsletter of the Prospect Park Track Club


Someone once asked me if there was a special way to wish me luck before running a marathon. He told me he was about to say “break a leg”, but that was special for actors, and definitely not good luck for runners.

I found out that pilots say “Blue skies!” This is also not necessary good for a long run.

We talked about it for a wile. There are good luck charms… A horseshoes (too heavy), rabbits foot (gonna get kinds slimy after 20 miles) 4 leaf clovers (this will be sap by the finish line).

Some people make special prayers or evoke some special religious ritual. I don’t do that. Stevie Wonder said “If you believe in things you do not understand, you will suffer”.

I looked up some good luck sayings on the internet. Roy Croc said "Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get." I don’t think Roy was thinking about marathon sweat.

More internet research helped me discover that some cultures have good luck foods. One interesting tidbit is that in some Chinese regions luck is based on the shape of the food. Long noodles make for a long life. I have no problem with this. But cutting or biting the noodle can bring bad luck. This is too stressful for me.

Maybe you don’t want to talk about the outcome of the race, but you could say “Knock on wood”. This did not make any sense to me so I looked up the origin of this phrase. It goes back to the Druids, that makes sense but not for running.

I also looked at different languages for their version of good luck.

In Spanish you might say "Vaya con Dios" meaning "Go with God". In most other earthly languages good luck literally translated like that.

I looked at the languages of other planets. Beings from the planet Klingon, speak, of course Klingon. Klingons are a warrior race. They value honor above life itself. When one Klingon leaves another they are usually going off to battle.

I decided that if I were to be wished good luck before running a marathon it would be in the language of Klinglon. They say “Qapla’”. That is pronounced XAp^h'lA?. It means Success!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Surprise Art is the Best Art

I'm lucky enough to live a block from the biggest library in Brooklyn. It is also the only one open on Sundays. So the other day when my daughter needed to visit it I was glad to take a walk with her.

On the way there we walked through the part of grand Army Plaza between the arch and Prospect Park. On Saturdays it's a farmers market on other days it's just a big empty space where they sometimes put your car when they tow it so they can make a movie in Park Slope.  On our walk towards the library we saw a guy putting the finishing touches on a couple of metallic stick figures that seem to have some sort of motor that made them blank or wiggle as we walked by. My daughter appreciated them that much more than she would have a few months ago because she is now in the middle of her anatomy class at her art high school.

On our way back home the fun was just kicking off. It seemed we were just walking into some sort of art event and we were invited to sit down and join them. They were a handful of of rectangular table set up all covered with a white cloth. We were told that they were making a flag and that we were all invited to paint... It took her about 10 minutes to add my portrait to the flag.

I really enjoyed sitting there and posing for my daughter. I took the time to tell her that this is what college might be like. Getting a chance to spend a little bit of money on an art project, engaging the public, creating a website. I'm not sure if I shared this information with my daughter because I wanted her to know what college might be like or because I just enjoyed imagining that my daughter would be doing this in the future.

In any case there was also readings of short stories and poems. We also were handed the lyrics to a song that we sang together. Grand Army Plaza: Crossroads of Inequality. I include a scan of the lyrics below. It took a great deal of effort on my part not to correct the artists because they kept calling the street that I live on Union Avenue. It is Union Street.

Then we voted to change the symbolic bird of the United States from the bald eagle to the barn owl. Here is a link to the press release about the event.

Bumping into this art help turn a frustrating experience in the library to a wonderful afternoon.





Thursday, October 27, 2016

I figured out how to clap my hands

I was never really into going to musicals.  But ever since an evil variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome destroyed much of the motor axons in my hands and feet I've been more open to trying new things. So I got a Facebook invitation to see an off off off Broadway show called Still Standing, written and performed by Anita Hollander, I figured what the hell it's a one hour show, it's a one-woman show and she's got one leg. So what I got to lose.

So let me get right to it .... Because the song called Mommy is a Mermaid was about how her daughter thought it was no big deal she had one leg that's the way it's always been. It made me wonder if my relationship with my kids would be better they are never knew how fit I was before they turned 14. Maybe, if they thought all daddies needed help holding a fork, we have an easier time getting along. But it was a feel-good show, so I couldn't go up and shake her hand after it was over cause I might of mentioned that and we all would have started to cry. But that was just a little part of the show.

Yeah, I was able to relate in a much more positive way to the rest of the performance. Stories and songs about courage. Dealing with the cards that you have, laughing it yourself and marking the people who can't deal with you. Listen to them all by clicking on this link. http://bit.ly/2eFe4OK.

The nerve damage in my hands is pretty bad. Clapping becomes more of a flopping and when my hands do meet I can't really unbend my fingers so all I'm really doing is tapping my knuckles together. But I felt compelled to applaud. I suddenly realized that if I rested my left palm on my chest I could slap my right palm on the back of my left hand and make that clapping sound.

Last night I went down to Brooklyn Bridge Park for the NYRR Open Run. As usual my friend Larry showed up and took a gazillion pictures. Right after he finished running I asked him to take a bunch so I could show off my new clapping method.

Oh, if you haven't been keeping up don't panic about the wheelchair. I broke a little bone in my right foot so since I was already hobbling around, hobbling more with the broken bone really didn't work out.

I can get around the house without the boot on but I can't walk more than a few blocks with it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Get on up (update again October 2016) NSFW and TMI. Not safe for work and too much information!

Now that I purchased this model from
Overstock this pops up as a Facebook ad.
Update October 22, 2016 .....................................................

It's been a long time since I updated this post. Maybe too long. Maybe I should've bought a bidet months or years ago. But now I have one.

So my dear reader, you only have to use the tip of your imagination to think of the indignities I had to go through about once a day because my fingers and wrists are is about as useful as a big of carrots. 

Now, I can get on up whenever I want to go, as long as a home. 

It might be a long time, if ever before I get to update this post again. But a lot of people only sit down on their own toilets....

..... And if anyone says I told you so, I'm you spend a few days at your place thanking you....



December 2015..................................................................................................................................

On the third to the last time I visited my friend Paul in hospice, I witnessed something no one should ever have to see. We were chatting for a while he asked me to hand him the buzzer for the nurse. We ran so many miles together he didn't ask me to leave because he had to pee. When the nurse came in he said he needed some help getting to the toilet. She then said something like, "We talked about that Paul, remember what happened last time, your legs are too weak, we have to bring you a bottle."  Nobody should ever be in the room with someone who was told they already stood in front of the toilet for the last time. 

Fast-forward a couple years and I'm in the intensive care unit this time. Remember, I walked into the hospital, but once I was there they did n't let me walk around too much. The morning of my second day I buzzed for the nurse and told him I had to pee. I made it to the bathroom but when they let go of me in front of the toilet I almost hit the ground. They said after this we'll bring you a bottle.  In that moment I was with Paul again

For a couple weeks I was able to hold the bottle, and then neuropathy started to affect my hands worse. For four months while I was hospitalized and a few more months at home I couldn't even stand and be at the same time. Then for a while I was able to stand, but I didn't have the hands to deal with the rest of the process, so I still needed a person and a bottle. A couple months ago I was able to work out the process of peeing, but pants with zippers and buttons not so much.

Last night I decided to push the envelope a little. For the first time in almost 19 months I just got up, walked to the bathroom, took a leak, and came back to the living room without asking for help. This is big. This means, that if I wearing the right kind of pants I could use a public restroom by myself.


October 2015............................................................................................................................................

I need to give this one more update. And it's also time to describe some of the processes I had to go through in various hospitals.  You don't really have to read this, because it is NSFF(not safe for work) and TMI (too much information)

When I went to the emergency room I was just wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I difficult to be moving.  I actually get my shorts on for about five days in intensive care. Then one evening a couple of nurses aides came over and said hey you want to take a shower? I had been out of bed and for five days, and wasn't thinking much about showering but it sounded like a good idea. They put me onto a thing that was like a combination of a wheelchair and a beach chair. They rolled me into a little room that had a shower and then they peeled me out of my clothes. I said out loud goodbye dignity", because I actually sort floating away like a balloon into the hospital  For the past year and a half I've been struggling to get it back.

Where do the boy parts go?
When I walked into my doctor's office back in May 2014 I knew I had problems. But one of them like was myself. Prior to all the weakness that occurred in my arms and legs, I had incredible pain. Kidney stone level pain. And I've had kidney stones and have been told I be prone to more. So I keep oxycodone around. When I had this pain I self medicated little. I didn't know that oxycodone doesn't work on nerve pain, but since the pain to go away I just took more oxycodone. It didn't help, it did make me happy but it did make me really constipated. So being a quadriplegic and totally clogged up was not a fun combination. All my fifth day in the intensive care unit I mentioned to my nurse that I got a problem, that I had not pooped in five days. She said yeah we know if nothing happens tomorrow it's all of our problem. So in the middle of that night I rang the bell.

So.....I'm in intensive care and having gotten out of bed or pooped in five days. They bring over this chair with a little hole in it and tell me that they will help me get on it. I look at it and say "but where do my boy parts go?" The nurse says don't worry about it do what you gotta do. Okey-doke he but IP when I poop. So they hit me up on that thing, but as I predicted I became a frigging fountain. Sorry.

The constipation all effects of the oxycodone lasted for about a month. I stayed on a once a week schedule during that time. In acute rehab they had better rolling commodes with my boy parts, and they actually rolled me over a real toilet. But the first two out of three poops I had at Rusk required a plumber after I was done. I don't know about you, but have ever were able to look back and say holy shit that was the biggest poop I ever had. Well, I looked back and four turds and each of them was the biggest crap I ever took in my life.

Yeah, I got regular and came home from the hospital.  That was 13 months ago. But I still needed a sliding board to get over onto a raised commode. It took me a few months but then I was able to put the commode in the bathroom and use a walker to get to it. Then the walker became unnecessary. But, I couldn't even stand in front of the toilet.

So in the spring I was able to pee standing up. It was really exciting to recycle that portable uranal.


A few weeks ago I started up Occupational Therapy again. It's great. I'm just ask questions like what do you want to do that you haven't been doing. There's been so much I've been afraid to try, but lately I've learned that I can yes drink from a glass, no more beer through a straw.

The third week of OT I said that I didn't know if I could get up off a regular toilet. So we tried it in the therapy gym. Without holding onto anything and without taking my pants down I easily sat down on a toilet. And then I got right back up! FUCKING WOW. 

Yeah, I still need a little help in the bathroom with those things that require fine motor skills from the fingers. But raised arm commodes and urinal jars are behind me. (Pun intended)





August 2015..................................

life's been getting better, been spending four or five hours out of the house it any given time. I just have to make sure I go before I go.

April 2015 ...................................

I wrote this post below back in August when I was in rehab.  Lately, I've been posting about my progress how far I can walk the fact that I can handle a flight of stairs now.  But my whole day revolves around personal needs that I need help with.  I don't need a sliding board anymore, but I can't just go anywhere.
...................................................................................

Written from rehab in August 2014

Sometime in the next 24 to 36 hours you're going to feel the need to go to the bathroom. You're going to get up, go to an appropriate place, take off an appropriate amount of clothing, sit down for an appropriate amount of time, and when you're done you're going to clean yourself. Hopefully get up and wash your hands leave the room and move on with life.

If you are a believer thank your god that you can do this without pressing a button, and calling for help, using a sliding board and a commode chair that was specifically adjusted for your height. If you're not a believer just don't take taking a shit for granted.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Shit people say to someone who has recently suffered a life changing illness (Updated Novt 2016) (NSFW)


Update November 2016 

Okay, I really have to vent here. Because I mostly kept my mouth shut. But this doesn't really have anything to do with how to treat people whose lives were changed because of illness. This is about how to act in front of someone who's disabled, specifically using a wheelchair.  For now, and just for longer trips I'm using my wheelchair  again because I broke my foot.


It's hard to be in a wheelchair, especially if you thought that part of your life was permanently behind you. So I'm trying desperately to hold on to the little pieces of my life that I have regained since getting out of a wheelchair.... My running club organizes an easy run of the last 10 miles of the New York City Marathon course one week before the race. I was on my way to participating in this race when my foot broke, so for me the glory of the marathon will come next year. But I realized that I can still help out my club by using my wheelchair to go behind all the runners and make sure everyone finds their way from the 16 mile mark to Tavern on the Green and Central Park.

Emotionally, it wasn't very easy for me to decide to do this in a wheelchair but I put my big boy pants on and showed up. And then it wasn't too bad I was able to keep the wheelchair going at a steady pace and keep up with the back of the pack. I felt like I was doing a good thing and I know next year I'll be back on my feet. After a couple miles up First Avenue we had to detour a little bit around a construction site. A construction worker looked at me and said " That's cheating," and I heard another one say, "Ccan I write on your lap?." I replied, and they heard me, "that's not even a little bit funny."

But here's what I wanted to say.

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you! Can you fucking imagine how every molecule of my body would rather be running?! Who are you, fucking Donald Trump?
Now go up to the third floor of that building you should be building and jump off the fuckin' ledge. Break your back so you children have to change your fucking diaper.
I feel little better now


Update October 2016

This isn't the worst thing, and I get it from people who really care about me. It's been two years and five months since I was completely paralyzed, and I've gotten a lot better. But I have come to grips with the fact that I'm never gonna be the guy who can hold his fork with just three fingers. In fact, I have accepted the fact that I will always need to use some special contraption in order to pick up a fork or spoon. I actually find it easier to rest a sandwich on the top of my right hand and hold it stable with a finger from my left hand as I aim it towards my mouth. So if we go out to lunch together be prepared for a little bit of a mess. It's okay, when I'm home alone and want something to eat it's a lot messier.

Yeah, I can deal with the fact that my hands will never work like yours. But it's a little distracting to sit across the table from someone who looks at me like it's the end of the world to them .



Update June 2006

A couple weeks ago I finished the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I'm getting a lot of congratulations from people who know me and even strangers. They ask what's next and I told him I plan on completing the New York City Marathon. Some people don't know what a marathon really is, so I tell them. Then they look at me kind of crazy and say something like, "Oh, have you done that before?" I respond, "yeah, before this crap happen to me I was preparing for my 30th marathon and this will be my 20th New York City Marathon. Ironically, the last New York City Marathon that I ran I was a pace team leader, and held up a sign that said 'five hours run with me'. This year, I'll be competing as an Achilles Athlete, that means I will have guides assigned to help me."

Then they look at me and tell me that I will run a five hour marathon again or I will be a pacer again. I smile and say something like, yeah... One step at a time. But what the fuck, do they have any idea of the difference between walking the marathon distance in 10 hours and training to run it in five hours or less. NO! Or, do they know something my doctors don't. I don't get it when people just open their mouths and tell me what I will do it again. Do these people know that I can't use a porta-a-potty without help? It doesn't make me feel better when people just open their mouths and say what they think is nice. The doctors, the best doctors in the world, don't know how much more healing is in me. It doesn't make me feel better to fantasize about what I might do. If you want to make me feel better, just acknowledge how far I've come.

The lawyers make us say certain things to protect stupid people from themselves. "Past performance does not guarantee future results." Unless you really know something that my doctors don't you should keep your mouth shut.



Update April 2016

If you are the person who spent their entire life minimizing the time you spend off the couch and now you can barely do your daily activities because your knees won't hold up your excessive weight, don't tell me to rest.

I spent four months in the hospital where I couldn't even roll over in bed, I rested enough. For another year people applauded me because I can stand up, I rested enough.

Now when people tell me the rest it just makes me want to run further.

Don't tell me to rest

Update March 2016

I haven't used a wheelchair in many months nor a cane in a few weeks. Sometimes I see strangers on a bus or in the park using the same kind of equipment I used to have or in a similar wheelchair. It's hard to figure out what to say. At one of the races I helped organize, a husband pushed his wife around Prospect Park, in the type of wheelchair I used to hate, one that was uncomfortable even for sitting and torturous while being pushed over bumps. I 'ran' over to her and told her that I used to be pushed around one of those and now look at me. "I can walk". She said "no my condition is different I'm never getting out of this chair...."   I met well, really. But I realized the most supportive kind of statement isn't always that supportive. It might just remind people of things they just don't want to think about all the time.

I also should mention I have joined the Achilles Running club for a lot of their runs. I've had the pleasure of meeting lots of people with disparate disabilities. I consciously did not say "see you later" as a way of saying goodbye to blind people. But I listened to them and realized that they were saying "see you later" to people all the time. I also learned that people who I just are blind  are not always totally blind. There are many degrees of visual impairment. After one of our runs we took a breather in a playground where my kids used to play. The guide who was helping my new visually impaired friend helped her walk around all of the playground equipment so she can touch it and know what I was talking about. Then she took out her phone and started taking pictures of the slides and ramps. She said she was going to go home upload them to our large screen so she could see what we were talking about. I had no idea....

Yesterday, I attended a big family function where I saw a lot of people who haven't seen me in a long time. They were really happy to see how far I've come. Some of them hadn't seen me since I've been sick and only heard that I was paralyzed. The question I wasasked me was, "Are you going to fully recover?" Or "How long will it be until you're fully recovered". I know, I know they really ment well. They saw how far I came and were excited about my recovery. My answer was vague, "If I can recover as much in the next 20 months as I did in the last 20 months I'll be very happy." But deep in the pit of my stomach, I really didn't like being reminded that I'm never going to be the same again.


Update January 2016

Included in the doctor's letters that they wrote for my disability insurance includes the statement, "the patient does not suffer from any psychological or cognitive impairments." The following two statements come under that category.

  • A friend asked me if I needed any help getting out of the car. I said, "No I'm fine." When I was getting out of the car his hands are all over me. Dude, you asked me a question and I answered it. Why did you ask it, if you're not gonna follow my instructions
  • another person thought it would be a good idea if I went to a certain meeting. Then he called me back and said it wasn't that important because of my condition. My condition does not stop me from making that decision for myself.
Here's the big picture. If I need help, I'll ask for it. Please don't make a big deal out of what you think I can and can't do. I don't know what I can and can't do so what makes you think you know?


Update December 2015

I just realized the same crap came out of this one person's mouth in just one week.

  • He said he didn't know where to sit in the car because he had to figure out where the "cripple" would sit.
  • He was surprised that I walked to a party that was a mile from my house. He said, "Did it take you three hours to get here."
  • I don't have enough strength in my hands to hold onto a pencil. He reached out to shake my hand and when I shook as he said, " Ack, you should shake like a man."
BTW, this was a grown man.



Update August 16, 2015

In one breath someone called me a gimp, and the next breath he said I might be too drunk to drive you can come with me you couldn't get any more fucked up. If I thought he was too drunk to drive I would've gotten the car, and I would've forgotten he said that.


Update July 29, 2015

Don't make jokes that you wish you had a wheelchair. Don't fain envy. Don't tell me you want to sit on my lap. Not remotely funny! And I have to clamp a thing onto my hands so I can hold a fork. Don't look at it and say I wish I had one. No you fuckin don't!

Update May 23, 2015


Last night I was reminded that Tom Cruise is a good actor.  He played Ron Kovic in Born on the Fourth of July.  That scene where he came home from the VA hospital in wheelchair His face as everyone told him he looked good. I cried inside.

Update, May 3, 2015

This is something that's been done by a lot of people who I really care for.  Just because of sitting in a wheelchair and my back is to you and I don't know you're there doesn't mean you could tap me on the head.  I hear fine if you say my name turnaround.


Update, March 16, 2015: 

The worst thing you can do if you see someone you think you know and suddenly in a wheelchair is  to look away.  Yeah, I'm the guy who helped to you unload a truck at the food co-op, or I might be the guy you ran all of the Park with, or I might be the guy who just cheered for you when you ran a race. I am still the same guy!!! You can say hello!!!


I know a lot of you people might be shocked to see me in a wheelchair.  But please engage the brain before you open your mouth
.
- Well, this might not have happened to you if you didn't push yourself so hard with all that running
Actually I probably would have been a lot worse off or even dead if I wasn't fit when this happen to me.

- Is disability temporary or permanent?
It depends how long I live and go fuck yourself.

- I know someone who has something like what you have.
No you don't, you don't even know what I have.

- I just remembered another one. When I was in the hospital and couldn't get out of bed people asked me if the nurses who bathed were hot.
I honestly didn't think of that until people asked. But it did make me wonder if their moms were hot. 

Okay, The crap above represent shit that came out of peoples mouths who knew me. Below is the shit people say to be to a stranger
I'll pray for you
Really, which God?  The God that put me in this chair or the God that you gonna pray to that will take me out.  I think it's pathetic that these believers assume I'm one of them but I've learned to just say thank you.

Everything happens for a reason
I don't even know if this can possibly mean. And my being punished? Am I suffering because of the fact that someone else got lucky?  Do they think that they has to be some sort of balance in the world and I need to be on the bottom put them on the top? So I just roll my eyes and ask someone to push me away from that person.

I'll add more as people say more shit to me.  Or you could leave your stupid shit n the comments.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Glory Deferred... Again.

I was really looking forward to finishing the New York City Marathon this year. Really.


In 2013 I finished my 19th New York City Marathon while being a pace team leader. I really thought I was gonna be running the New York City Marathon once a year for the rest of my life. Then in May 2014 a terrible disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome literally knocked me off my feet. I spent 135 days in the hospital and skipped the 2014 race. In 2015 I had just regained my ability to walk so I skipped the race again. But I got all set to finish in 2016. I was going to get an early start and friends from the Achilles running club will be to walk with me.

In the past two years, four months, and four weeks I've had a lot of hard times. I spent too many hours staring at hospital ceilings, looking at wheelchairs or just not being with my family.Every time I got frustrated I always went to the same place and time.  On the day after the first Monday in November I would be able to stand with my teammates and say, "Yea, I also finished the marathon yesterday." But that's not can happen this year, because last week I stepped into a hole and broke one of the little bones in my foot.

For the 2016 New York City Marathon I was registered as an Athlete With a Disability. That meant I was gonna got an early start and a crew of guides to help me get to the finish line. Next year I'm just gonna be a mediocre back of the pack marathoner. That will be totally fine with me

This evening I was asked to be on a panel of people who were experienced with the New York City Marathon. I got to talk about being in the middle of the pack. There's one thing I meant to say that I couldn't bring myself to say........... I wanted to remind everyone that there are at least a few people that are living vicariously through them when they run the New York City Marathon.

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