A cold, snowy anniversary of blood clots and romance


It snowed today; when I woke up this morning the world was covered in soft white.  By 10 o’clock the snow had all melted, but it never got out of the 30-degree range.  I ran about 4 o’clock and it was cold; I bundled up in my winter-woolies and was comfortable after I got going.   It was the third day of cold weather running after a very long and pleasant Indian summer.  The cold is not surprising its time has come; we are in the second week of November and even if the official start of winter is still six weeks off – we have entered the cold season of the year. It will be months before I am again running in shorts and t-shirts basking in the warmth of the sun.

Today was an important anniversary for me, exactly a year ago I got out of the hospital.  I had been in the hospital a full  week; on November 3rd, , I was admitted to the hospital with massive blood clots in my lungs.  Even though I am not running much, 3 or 4 miles a day, 5 or 6 times a week – and all of my runs are slow – I am regularly running again.  After I got out of the hospital it was six months before I tried to run.  For another four months I only ran a mile or two at a time and, at best, three times a week; my latest regiment is only two months old.  The recovery process, and it is a process, is slower than I thought it would be.  I was beginning to get really worried about the slowness of my progress until I saw a story about Serena Williams; in 2010, she also had blood clots in her lungs – it took two years for her to fully recover.  But recover she did, did winning both Wimbledon and a gold metal at the Olympics this year.

Serena is forty years younger than I am, so it stands to reason she might recover a bit faster than I will.  As simple as thought is, it was extremely comforting to me.  So today, as I made my way around the cold-windblown streets of Reno, I felt very lucky and pleased to be out and running at all.  In the recovery process I have discovered, or possibly recovered, some basic principles.  It takes time to gain physical strength and if we push too soon, doing too much we go backwards not forwards; the older you get the longer it takes and the more recovery you need between workouts; and most important to me, I am not running to be fast, I am running because I am alive and my body and my mind love the sensation of movement and effort.

Today was a great “out-of-the-hospital” anniversary celebration; tomorrow I am going to get on an airplane and fly to Buffalo.  The trip is also a celebration and anniversary related to my little trip to the hospital.  While lying in a hospital bed, I composed what I hoped was an amusing little bit about itching and nurses and sent it to an old friend of mine.  She responded in kind and therein hangs a pleasant little tale of friendship rediscovered, literature, emails, transcontinental travel and an ensuing romance.  That tale and that anniversary is what we are going to celebrate together next week.

There is a lesson in that anniversary too, relationships take time to develop and if pushed too far too fast they often collapse.  But given time to mature, and nourishment, relationships, like muscular and cardiovascular fitness, can get stronger with time.  As Kenneth John Lindsey, my friend of 40-years used to say, “ain’t love grand?”  Linds might have meant the love of life or the love of a woman – both work for me.

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7 Responses to “A cold, snowy anniversary of blood clots and romance”


  1. 1 Rita P. Best November 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Nice commentary. I think a Congratulations is in order. “ain’t love grand…have fun, be safe, be happy! I’m happy for you 🙂 rite

  2. 2 bill hanigan November 11, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Me too, enjoy and rejoice. And I agree with Lindseys “ain’t love grand” although from probably a different perspective. And I even think Love would give the thumbs up.

  3. 3 lynne rosner November 11, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I am so touched by your life of hardship, recovery and love. Thank you for writing.

  4. 4 Suzanne Stormon November 11, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I’m so happy for you. Anniversaries are great times for new starts and recovery can be all the better for being slow and bringing the best parts of the past into the present.

  5. 5 David Minter November 11, 2012 at 7:40 am

    So was the point of the article that there’s no reason you can’t win the Olympics!

    Enjoy your trip.

  6. 6 rexdstock1 November 11, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Happy Anniversary!

    ________________________________

  7. 7 Ken Adams November 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

    to one and all thank you very much


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