Running for Dan

I’ve been running since August.  I’ve always loved running, but haven’t been able to do it consistently since I had back surgery in my 20’s.  Fibromyalgia pain on top of that made running seem impossible.  My last race was the Hospital Hill 10k/Half-Marathon in 1987. (www.hospitalhillrun.com)  I never thought I’d run in a race again.

Today is the Towamencin Township Turkey Trot. (www.towamencin.org/events.html)  I signed up for it in October after running for a couple of months.  I’m nervous and a little scared.  Despite that, I will run in the race.  I am not runniing for a specific time or to win anything.  I am running because I love it, but also because my son Daniel can’t.  Dan has ataxia-telangiectasia  (http://www.atcp.org) a rare, genetic, neurodegenerative disease.  Dan hasn’t run or walked in years.  He has become fatalistic of late, saying things like “I’m never going to get better” or “I just want a normal life.”  I will carry the pain of that as I run today.

I’m not a good fundraiser.  I don’t like asking people for money, even when I know it is for a good cause.  I didn’t set-up a fundraising account because I was afraid something would happen and I wouldn’t come through.  That didn’t happen though, so I will run today, for Dan and for all kids with A-T, in the hope that a treatment will be found.

I could not have done this without our Weimaraner Odie.  He will not be able to run with me today, but his energy and sweet spirit have kept me running on many days when I faltered.  We adopted Odie from Tri-State Weimaraner Rescue.(www.tristateweimrescue.org).  I am forever thankful to them for allowing us to help abandoned Weimaraners by volunteering and for Odie.

Time to go run.  Wish me luck and thanks for reading.

Luna

I am the wolf who runs in the night. Paws silent on the earth, black as the sky above my head.  The wind is cool in my fur and my golden eyes close in ecstasy as I move seamlessly and silently over fallen logs, rocks and streams. No one can tame me, I belong only to the moon.

I’m really looking forward to NaNoWriMo this year.  I’ve been wanting to write my wolf story for so long now, and this will give me the extra support I need.  I’ve been working out daily at the YMCA lately, and as I walked and ran on the treadmill today I took off my glasses and visualized a white wolf running beside me on my left and a black wolf running beside me on my right.  People must have wondered what I was smiling about as perspiration ran down my face.  The wolf is my spirit animal, and I wear a bracelet woven of white wolf hair on my left  wrist, and one woven of black wolf hair on my right.  The fur is collected at a sanctuary for wolves, and no animal is harmed in making them.  They give me strength.  As we run together I am not a 50-year-old, slightly out of shape Mother of three teenagers, one of whom has a fatal neurodegenerative condition.   In these moments I thank my body for all the amazing things it lets me do, and a sense of freedom surges through me like an electric current.  We are three bodies in one as we run together, the wolves and I.  They encourage me, just as real wolves do in their packs.  The social structure of wolf packs is complex, with roles for every wolf to play.  Each individual pack member has worth, and at the same time wolves instinctively know their real strength comes from the pack as a whole.  Wolves are intelligent, loyal, and enrich the ecosystems in which they live.  It is difficult for me to comprehend the hatred they engender in some humans.

Regardless, my wolf buddies/allies/spirit guides, had a lovely run today, and made me so glad to be alive!  (and when you’re up at 4:40 a.m. to do your children’s laundry, it’s nice to remember there is still a bit of  “the wild” in you)