I Left My Health in San Francisco

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Has anyone seen my immune system? I seem to have misplaced it somewhere between here and San Francisco. If you see it lying about, please send it my way. I’m desperate to have it back.

The first weekend in February I piggybacked onto a business trip of my husband’s–something I have long since dreamed of but never had done. And to San Francisco of all places– a geographic destination that had been off-limits in my college-seeking years because someone (who shall go unnamed) didn’t want me to meet a California guy and relocate there. Ooops.

Last thing I remember I was running along the Embarcadero, dining with dear friends, touring Chinatown, indulging in Ghiradelli, and not feeling guilty that my kids were nowhere in sight. But payback’s a bitch. A really large one.

I should have a t-shirt that reads: I Went to San Francisco and All I Got was Pneumonia.

I’ve emerged from the worst of it (I hope) and have kept myself busy with convalescing, taking my meds, relapsing, taking more meds, and gazing longingly at the outdoor opportunities that tease and taunt. I feel a bit like a kid with a chocolate allergy who is paraded through a candy factory.  God forbid I ever endure a serious illness or debilitating injury–my whining quota has already been used up.

Here I thought moving to Southern California would render me tan, fit and delusively invincible. Such is not the case. I’m less Katy Perry’s California Gurl (daisy dukes, bikinis on top) and more There’s Something About Mary’s  sun-dried neighbor (if only she wore a top).

With each sunny day that comes and goes I remind myself that there are more–plenty more– to enjoy. I’m convinced that this sun and warmth have melted my immune system, but hopefully that’s a temporary side effect of adjustment. It’s still a dream of mine to work with an organization such as the Challenged Athletes Foundation– I just have to wait until I am not so challenged myself.

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Run Away with Me, Lance Armstrong

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Run away with me, Lance!

Ewww– gross. This isn’t a romantic gesture (I’m committed to a guy with bona fide moral integrity). I offer as a friend, because I am guessing you’re short on those right now. Come run with me, and escape who you’ve become. Come run with me and rediscover the athlete you once were– the one who ran, swam and cycled because you had drive, talent and above all passion.

We’ll put on some tunes, perhaps Fun. Some Nights:

Well, some nights I wish that this all would end                                                              Cause I could use some friends for a change                                                                    And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win…                                                                             What do I stand for?  What do I stand for?  What do I stand for?                                           Most nights I don’t know….

Indeed you won. You cheated death. Then you cheated life. You took that “win at all costs” attitude and you lost everything. But you certainly won’t be forgotten. So, now what do you stand for?

Let’s go for a run and find out. We’ll take in the salty breeze, welcoming the crisp air into our lungs– yours of course once ravaged by disease and yet still stronger than most. We’ll feel the pounding of hearts, yours of course once pushing tainted blood through your veins. We’ll feel the lactic acid releasing into our legs, yours of course having stood several times on a podium of lies.

We’ll run so that you can sweat away all that you once were– a liar, a cheat, a self-proclaimed jerk. But remember, you were also a hero, an idol, a self-proclaimed humanitarian. I believed in you as so many did. Are there any of us left now?

Run from your past and toward your future– the one in which you can be a better competitor, leader, survivor, father, friend, human.

You thrive on defending yourself and proving others wrong. Do it again–rise above and be better. In the words of your former sponsor:

Just Do It.

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