I Chose to Walk Again
In October of 2012, after a decade of dealing with an medical issue that had gone undiagnosed and untreated, I lost the ability to use my legs for walking or standing. I would also spend then next year imprisoned in my second story apartment, never once being able to fully go outside. In 2013 I was finally able to find a doctor who was able to diagnose the issue I'd been dealing with for over a decade; I had extreme gout. The damage to my joints and the weakening of my muscles from extended flares had essentially put me in a wheelchair. I ended up spending about two and a half years needing that chair to get around. In 2014, after some time with proper gout-fighting medications, my legs were finally starting to feel like they wanted to be used again. I decided that 2015 would be the year that I walked again and on the first day of that new year, with the assistance of a walker, I walked from my back door to my front door. That first day of the year walk may have only been around 30 feet, it was the catalyst for change that I had needed. I vowed that I would walk a half mile on or before the last day of 2015 and on October 17th I did just that, and then I turned around and walked another half mile back to my car. I'd just walked 1 full mile for the first time in over three years. That did it for me, and I decided that 2016 was going to be the year of distances. I then vowed that by the end of spring of 2016 I'd walk my first 5k, and on April 10th I did just that. To be followed by my first 10k, my first 5 mile adventure race which I came in dead last with both my brother and wife, and finally as a celebration of my first mile walked back in 2015, I walked 10 miles the day before my birthday this past October. But the story doesn't really end there for this year. I was also able to finish, along with my wife and daughter, a 100 mile walking challenge the National Park Service had this year to celebrate their centennial birthday. However, my greatest victory to date happened on the 11th of December of this year, 2016. I, accompanied by my wife, daughter and friends, walked 14.2 miles which took us nearly eight and a half hours. Everything I've written here started with just one thing, not that first of the year walk in my apartment, but the decision that I was going to do a thing. A thing that any person out there is them self capable of doing. Hard work and determination will see any human being achieve what it is they set out to do. And next year, for me, is going to be even better than 2016 was. I'll be starting spring off with a 25k race, a 100 miles in 100 days challenge, a few more distance events and then eventually the big one; a full marathon walk. I have a smile on my face right now as I type this, because I know it's going to be one outstanding year! Be well and keep going.
Mount Hope, WV