Many years ago when I was a young hospital administrator, my boss, the hospital CEO, told me that our hospital was sponsoring a 5K race. I said that it sounded great, but then asked what a 5K race was. (Okay, this was the late ‘70s and I had been absorbed in getting my graduate degree, working full-time, and becoming a newlywed.)
He told me what it was and I said I’d be happy to be there to help out. “No you’re going to run it,” he said. I responded with, “I don’t think so.” He ended the conversation with, “I think so.” And so, I did.
That day led me to become a serious long-distance runner for more than 35 years, participating in marathons, half-marathons, 10-milers, etc. It has helped me maintain a mostly healthy lifestyle, and it has worked for me because I’ve never had a heart attack and my arteries have been essentially clean.
However, as some of you already know, I developed a very rare idiopathic disease called Sarcoidosis and, in my case, an even rarer version, Cardiac Sarcoidosis. After several years, I had to have a heart transplant in November 2013.
The mental toughness and tenacity skills that I honed as a runner were of great value to me in my recovery and I thank my boss for starting me on my road to running, as well as my family, my friends, my donor, and a great many doctors, nurses, technologists and countless other healthcare providers for getting me back to a “new normal” life.