Over the course of my life, I've suffered through two knee surgeries, three episodes with kidney stones, dislocated my shoulder twice, bruised my ribs, and suffered a broken arm and foot.
My son battled cancer and received a life-saving liver transplant at a very young age. I feel at times, that I am running on empty. Through your thoughts, prayers, and encouragement I find the fuel that I need to keep going.
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit my blog. Take care, stay safe and God bless!
Those that know me personally, know that I was never a runner! I consider myself to be somewhat athletic though (at an intramural level). I never ran just for the sake of running. It took many years for me to realize the benefits and enjoyment that running brings to my life!
I was very active in many sports as a child, including soccer, basketball, baseball, football, tennis, golf, and bicycling.. My favorite sport has always been soccer, and I played it very often as a child and while I was living in Omaha (for 5-6 years of my life). I coached Y13/14 outdoor soccer for three years and some indoor seasons too. I was playing soccer on average of 3-5 times a week while living in Omaha, that’s of course until my knee went out. Actually, someone “took me out” (and my ACL completely tore through, in addition to some minor meniscus damage).
Enter knee surgery #1, a complete ACL-reconstruction utilizing my hamstring tendon as the graft. Recovery was slow because I developed a post-surgical infection and was hospitalized for over a week. My left leg muscles completely atrophied. I was restricted to crutches for two months and completely devastated by the immobility. Special thanks to my family and friends for visiting me while hospitalized (you know who you are).
Well, rehab took some time. I spent at least three to four days per week with Physical Tharapy and remember the small steps forward, huge leaps backwards. My quads were hooked up to an electro-stimulation device to inhibit muscle activity, and the pain was immeasurable. I will never forget any of those “shock therapy” visits. The road to recovery was long but I was slowly progressing down the path. I thought back to an old college friend who introduced me to a bible verse that I have lived by my entire life: “fight the good fight, finish the race, and always keep faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7. Thanks Chad, wherever you are!
Well, I spent a few months adjusting to my daily routines (work, rehab, home etc) and time slowly crept along. I was able to work back up to a jogging pace on the treadmill and then later progress to the indoor track at the local gym. I had a lot of support then, from a couple of friends and co-workers. I couldn't have done it alone (thanks Clark). Before I knew it I was out and running full stride again (but always thinking back to the soccer field and missing the sport). I gave up something that I really enjoyed (which is very hard to do).
In addition to the knee injury, I had suffered some other injuries while playing soccer: two dislocated shoulders, a broken hand and foot. I also suffered through three episodes with kidney stones (the worst pain ever imagined). Bottom line: I couldn't get hurt playing soccer again, so it was for the best that I quit playing. Playing soccer slowly faded into nothing.
In 2006, I moved to Oklahoma City taking a job with increased responsibility. This new move took a lot of time away from my personal life and wasn't able to dedicate much time to sports. I slowly found myself getting out of shape but had some support along the way (thanks Jeremy for running with me during my PT test). I unsuccessfully attempted to get back into running (mid-2006) and had to find something else to do. I owned a Trek 1200 road bike and rode it as much as 20-50 miles on some rides. I figured that I’d get into biking! Unfortunately, there wasn't enough road-space (or paved trails) where I lived to safely keep up with this activity. I tried yet again to run. And failed.
It wasn't until around the spring of 2008 when I was finally able to seriously get back into running. I was deployed and found myself playing a lot of basketball during PT and running in my off time. I was biking to and from work daily and was slowly getting back into shape! I was feeling pretty good, confident and finding my 2nd wind! I was running, riding, and attempting to swim (with the hopes of entering a mini-triathlon upon return from my deployment). Unfortunately (that word again) upon return, my youngest child at the time was ill and hospitalized. Diagnosis cancer, Stage IV hepatoblastoma of the liver (with four lung nodules). This was the most devastating day of my life to date. To make matters worse, I was out on a run and experienced severe pain originating from my left knee. I knew immediately that something was wrong.
My Son’s health took us to Dayton (where we currently live). We spent over a year in various hospitals (inpatient and outpatient) and witnessed our son experience so much pain and anguish. His health is much better today (thanks to so many medical professionals) and we are thankful to still have him with us.
I volunteered for the 2009 USAF Marathon (I wasn't running, due to the knee injury) and remember watching (in awe) thousands of runners depart the starting line. I was inspired and had several friends running both the half and full marathon events that day. I made a promise to myself that I’d be back the following year after my second knee surgery. I didn't really tell anyone about it (for fear of shame, of not being able to fulfill the promise). Thankfully, I made it back a year later and finished the 2010 USAF Half Marathon (in my “Completed Races" page) despite proper training and family emergencies. “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.”Philippians 4:13
Well, an MRI revealed that I had fractured my lateral cross-pin, further damaging my meniscus, and had bone spurs/debris within in my left knee (remember, my ACL was previously repaired in 2005). I fell back to ground zero and scheduled knee surgery #2 (knowing all too well, how much misery I experienced from the first surgery). I better prepared myself for this surgery by lifting weights and strengthening my legs though. Unfortunately, recovery wsa delayed again due to another setback: a severe allergic reaction to the skin adhesive/glue called “mastisol.” My left knee was completely covered with blisters (relevant to those from chemical burns) "Here we go again!" Just my luck too. I spent a month in quarters (away from work) recovering from this injury. Despite the setbacks, I climbed the mountain and began running again.
In January of 2010, I purchased one of the most critical components that has been with me throughout my new-found running days: an iPod Nano and Nike+ sensor. "Why I didn't think of this before?" Music is a big part of my life (and for civilization). For generations, we have used music for entertainment, in times of battle, and to motivate and grow….. “Where would we be without music?” Who knows? Well, I can’t run without it (that’s for sure)!
My story is no more special than the next guy, but I wanted to give you my background so you all could paint the picture and see why I feel at times that I am “Running on Empty.” If I can do any of this so can you. I have dug deep and bounced back from so many setbacks while always keeping faith. I would not be where I am today without the help and support from my family, friends, and co-workers. Thanks!
In addition to running, I'd like to share some of my hobbies and interests. Some of those include the great outdoors, photography, and more (work in progress).
Thanks again for the visit, take care and stay safe!