Stuff I Miss… since my diagnosis of coronary artery disease.
We all “miss our stuff”…
We always miss what we don’t have. With heart disease, specifically coronary artery disease due to atherosclerosis, much of what you miss is the food – the high-fat and high-sodium foods!
I miss crispy, greasy, salty French fries. A large order of French fries from McDonalds is usually around 5.4 ounces. The large order of McDonalds French fries has 500 calories, 220 calories from fat, 25 grams of fat, 63 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein and 350 mg of sodium.
I miss high-sodium Bloody Marys. Your daily sodium intake should be less than 1500 mg a day. One bloody Mary alone (on average) contains 1,500 mg of sodium – that doesn’t even count any sodium she will get from food.
I miss squeaky, rubbery, high-fat cheese curds, especially the deep-fried ones! Culver’s Cheese curds have 670 calories with 30 grams of total fat, 15 grams of saturated fat and 1740 mg of sodium!
But the one thing I miss most, since I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease is…
Running was my outlet… my adrenalin… my daily dose of joy that allowed my world to feel completely perfect. Running takes you into the moment. Your heart beats faster. Your breaths become deeper. You feel SO alive! You forget all your troubles and become so confident in your thoughts. Your mind fills with the most creative and inspirational feelings. You become so wise just by putting on a pair of sneakers!
Those thoughts all came bounding back to me when I happened upon an old leather bound journal. I filled the weathered pages with a multitude of running stories and innermost thoughts… I could feel the adrenalin and joy and fulfillment in each page. With that statement, allow me to share that day: June 19th, 2004. I believe it was one of my favorite days ever!
Hand-written June 19, 2004
Marathon running has become an indescribable addiction. Running Grandma’s Marathon – an elite race – left me feeling like I could endure anything and accomplish all. It was a special event, as always, and the scenic views along the North Shore of Lake Superior only enhanced the beauty and blessings that God has bestowed upon us.
Steve (husband) and I, along with Rebecca (daughter), Martin (son-in-law) and grand-daughter Samantha ventured “up North” to Duluth, MN over the weekend to attempt Grandma’s Marathon. It is Martin’s and my attempt to gain a marathon medal in another state.
Martin and I (the runners!) were up for a 6 AM bus to Two Harbors, MN, as the marathon providers drive you up the North shore along Lake Superior and YOU run back to Duluth! It is a very scenic course, but also very cold and windy. We had to wait until 7:45 AM to start, so we froze until we were allowed to start running.
Martin and I both finished together (a delight, in itself), although our “chip times” are a wee bit different. Martin’s read 5:19:42, while mine read 5:19:43. I suppose I will always have to admit that Martin came in first!
I have to make excuses and say that I had to stop and “empty my bladder” at a porta-potty and had to wait in line for 10 minutes. DARN! All the guys merely ran behind a tree to “take care of business.” It took them only seconds! I did see a gal try it and she came out from the trees with wet shorts – made me chuckle – but I am sure she got a better chip time than me! Who is chuckling now? My other excuse is that we had a head wind instead of a tailwind. I like to think that I could still cut time off and hope that next time I can come in under 5 hours.
As I ran and heard the song “I Loved You Before I Knew You” on my iPod, I thought about the fact that 30 years ago on this very date, I was in labor with Becky! Who would have ever thought that I would be in Duluth, running a marathon – 30 years later on her birthday – and running it with my daughter’s husband?
Grandma’s Marathon has been an awe-inspiring event. I enjoyed our fellow runners: a mother and daughter team with the younger one’s t-shirt reading: “I finally talked my mother into running a marathon.” There was a sister-brother couple with each t-shirt saying they were running with the other. Then I saw a shirt that read: “With God, all things are possible.” That said it all as He is our hope in all life’s situations.
The above was written immediately after the run… when the words come so naturally.
Today, chronic angina stops me from running, but now I am an avid walker. I have a new pair of sneakers too – walking shoes. How fast and how far I go depends on the day. There are good days. There are bad days. I find myself so grateful and so uplifted on the good days when I can go a bit further and a bit faster.
I saw a poster at the marathon that read:
“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
And the miracle continues as I continue to move forward each day, step by step.
Every morning I wake up and thank the Lord for the gift of another day, for the people that surround me, for the earth and the air and the new sneakers on my feet. Gratitude fills my very soul.
But there is still “stuff” I miss.
What do you miss? I would love to hear your thoughts.