Berlin Marathon Weekend is Here!

Finally! The Berlin Marathon is this Sunday. I’ve done the training with Maureen and Holly but now all sorts of pains – both real and phantom – have been creeping in. A course of Advil is helping as is thinking about this:

My dear Dad has been living with Parkinsons for over 12 years. David Olmsted, the strong Army Officer who was always in PT ready shape my whole growing up. Though he is resilient and still playing some respectable golf, there are many, and increasingly more, hard days. Recently he has been having trouble walking and more specifically, stopping. He tells his brain he wants to stop which causes his legs to slow to a shuffle but his upper body doesn’t seem to get the message, intent instead on keeping the forward motion. It’s like a freight truck discovering too late the brakes don’t work.

But as people who love you do, before I could swallow the latest devastation of his disease, he brightly told me he found a work around. He said as long as he tells his brain to “stride out” instead of “stop" his lower body keeps from shuffling and he is able to stay upright through a stop. This simple instruction to his brain has made a huge difference. It reminds me that our brain is a powerful thing with more connection to our bodies than we will ever understand.

If my heroic Dad can find a work around surely I can too. Conventional wisdom might suggest that short choppy steps of a shuffle might be more cautionary and appropriate when you see a road block ahead but the upper body – the residence of the head and heart – have other ideas. Whether it’s a progressive disease like Parkinsons, a task beyond your capability like a marathon, a dream with no discernible progress -- when stopping is all you want to do – the better thing to tell yourself (assuming you are not directly facing a brick wall – “the imaginary wall” does not count here) is to stride out. It just might be the difference between a graceful finish and a broken rib.

Thanks to all those who have supported me through donations for the awesome cause of World Vision, friendship runs and encouragement. It means so much! And Daddy, I’ll especially be thinking of you as I stride out those last miles on the pavement.


I'll be running with Team World Vision!