“…as youth fades, that sort of free-form vigor loses its natural vitality and brilliance. After you pass a certain age, things you were able to do easily aren’t so easy anymore-just as a fast ball pitcher’s speed starts to slip away with time.”

Haruki Murakami from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

img_2795 It is a long sordid story, most of you know it, and if you don’t you will find it here.

I would like to think my youth, my vitality, and brilliance has not faded. Yes, I am eligible for a senior coffee these days. When I peel back the layers; the cane, the scooter, the pillowed chairs, sodium tablets and other medications that hold me upright, I am here.

Bent with broken body, dizzy with a dysautonomic disorder, I am here.

Intricately woven and held by the dailyness of chronic illness. Once a runner, a long distance runner, who has learned to savor a quieter way of life.

I have come to terms with it, lest you doubt. I live in the cracks of brokenness, drenched in grace. I can promise you, though painful and fraught with trials, it is still a sweet, sweet place. And I am happy here. Content even.

There is something new in my Wilderness Marathon, in fact, I penned it last evening, number eight-hundred and sixty eight on my list of this years 1000 Gifts.

Two years ago my specialist at Duke University Hospital wrote me a prescription for physical therapy. Insurance red tape, cost, and transportation did not make it feasible for me in that season.

Today, my coverage pays for a gym membership. That’s a tangled web of mess we won’t even get into.

With my neurologist permission, more red tape, (what is it with all the red tape?), a lot of blood, I have a form allowing me to go to the gym and use the recumbent bike. Reclining exercise for those with my disease is a part of the recommended physical therapy.

I am in my third week.

I didn’t want to go yesterday. I was tired, overwhelmed, and frankly wanted to crawl up on my bed and fade into the pages of a good book. My sweet man persisted, bless him, drug me out into the rain and I went.

Can you imagine the looks when a bedraggled slip of a women drags in a bag loaded with Gatorade leaning in to a cane? Well, in the words of Rhett Buttler, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a ****.”

Climbing onto the bike, taking care not to fall, slipping in my ear buds, I quickly began to walk the streets of Port William with Jayber Crow. The words of Wendell Berry can take the worst of the ragamuffin soul and sing a song of poetry that settles somewhere deep inside. I faded to a different time, into the lives of J. Crow, he’s called, Burley Coulter, Cecilia Overhold, Big Ellis, and many more. The driving rain fell in sheets against the window I was peering through.

I left there, a bit less haggard, the hard of the day gone. My brain fog, clearer, and my attitude made right somehow. I can hear the voice of Miss Cecilia saying, “Why thank you, Jayber.”

It’s not running, the commitment falls somewhere the same. Two years of continuity to reap the benefits. As my Soul Sister would say, “when we get to negative numbers,” I will happily update you.

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 I am humbled and honored to be a part of the first Five Minute Friday Book! In all my humble excitement, I have been doing a happy dance, while standing in one spot, holding on to my desk for dear life, in turtle warp speed. Yes, that is life with P.O.T.S.

I would tell you which page, but rather, my heart’s desire is for you to read them all. Words, penned by many I have come to know and love. And a whole heaping amount of respect.

For the first time ever, I am a part of launching a book that holds a small part of me.

To celebrate I am giving away a copy of the Five Minute Friday Book. Friday, my sweet man will draw a name and I will announce it here on my Five Minute Friday post, this Friday, September 30th.

Here is what you need to do to become eligible. Comment on this particular post, sign up to receive emails from me, or follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. One or all is fine, and if you are already a follower, your name is already in!

Are you excited? I am!

img_2806Coming Saturday, October 1, please join me for Journey to Action!

“Today is the day we begin this journey. I long to take your hand as we travel dusty roads, venture down the paths less traveled. We may cross the tracks and find ourselves on the wrong side of town as our story unfolds.”

 

Gifts of Grace