I took up running again as a means of dealing with the stress of not knowing what was causing all the strange muscle control issues. I have gone through three neurologists. The first two were not able to pin it down. Not sure why, but that is how it was. At the time, I was seeing an occupational therapist. She was attempting to help me adapt to my unknown affliction. And over the course of a few months, she finally referred me to the third neurologist. He and his colleague were able to diagnose me with a high level of confidence.
All three neurologists, spanning about three years, were looking at worst case scenarios. My take on things, albeit a humorous and sadistic take, went something like this “What is the nastiest neurological disease that fits your symptoms that will kill you?” And as I did my own research at home, I spiraled down a dark path towards depression. I knew I was there, I had no control of that. But I decided to do something that I knew I could control… running.
The runs started out short and fast. They were a quick “exhaust yourself to feel better” runs. But running fast was not enough. I needed more.
I decided I wanted to try some distance running. I decided to train for a half-marathon. So, over the course of the next year or so, I did just that. I was running very consistently, five days a week. And one day while “training” for it, I zoned out and ran eighteen miles. I did this unknowingly. After that, my coach encouraged me to skip the half and sign up for a full marathon instead. So I did… Reluctantly.
I trained long and hard for that goal. Five days a week for about four months. I topped out at 157 miles back in January. My marathon was in March. And it was one of the most polar experiences of my life. I have never felt so elated and crushed in a single day.
Running a marathon has humbled me in a way I never imagined. It is an accomplishment that I will always cherish. And it is an event that helped see that I had more guts than I thought. For running a marathon with Dystonia, well… It makes me want to see how far I can go and how far I can push the limits of my soul.
There is an Ultramarathon in my future.