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A Chance Encounter

We hooked up camping. It wasnít a planned meeting, just a random chance encounter this past June in Quiver River State Park. Thatís when I met tick and not just any ordinary tick. This tick carried Lyme disease.  Three weeks later I found myself participating in an unplanned endurance event.

The symptoms were subtle at first, small things easily dismissed and then a raging battle took place in my knee.  The nights were the worst.  My running came to a screeching halt. Iíve often encouraged friends saying ďYour running will wait for you.Ē  Thatís because in my life my running always waited for me. Through crisis, sickness, sorrow, or just too busyness the running always stood by ready for me to come back taking up where we left off. However, any old runner will tell you that you only have so many miles in you and then typically the knees go. How many and how long you get to run; only God knows. Itís simply a matter of time.

After I finished the Boston marathon I asked myself now what? Iíd run 14 marathons, including one during an Ironman. The elusive goal Iíd chased for years had been met. Where did I go from here? I didnít wonder long because my daughter Kelly asked me to train her for her first marathon, the Rock and Roll St. Louis marathon. I was thrilled to accept this request and systematically reviewed all my training logs, pulled out numerous books and put together our plan.  We were right on track, in fact had finished a nice ten miler when I first noticed the knee pain.  Within two weeks I was hobbling around working to get in some walks.

Would my running wait for me? Could I recover and catch up with Kelly in time to do the marathon? The clock was ticking, the battle raging and thatís when I had a heart to heart talk with God. Yes, of course I pleaded for the ďjust one more marathon Lord.Ē  But in prayer I accepted that if I lost the ability to run, I would be alright. If I didnít get to run the marathon with Kelly, I could go and support her.  There was some grief and I let it go. If the running didnít wait, it would still be alright, God takes good care of me.

Now while I did accept Godís will in this, I did not intend to go down without a fight.  My doctor took fluid from my knee and tested it-no Lyme there, YAY! He injected cortisone into the spot where the bite wouldnít heal and then tested my blood again. Iíve been taking antibiotics and with the antibiotics came another challenge called herxing (Herxheimer Reaction) and yup I learned about that first hand. This prompted me to start a 21 day purification diet along with daily trips to the sauna to sweat out the toxins. I decided to make my body as inhospitable to the Lyme as possible.

There you have it, a chance encounter doing something I love, enjoying nature.  Iím learning and growing during this Lyme challenge and jotted down a few of these gifts.

Lyme Lessons:

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             I love to run. Already knew this, but I love to run and I missed it.
 

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             To eat better.
 

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             To make lifestyle changes.
 

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             That I can make it without ice cream every day.
 

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             How to be my own patient advocate.
 

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             That I can endure discomfort and pain without escaping.
 

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             Gratitude.
 

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             To trust God more.
 

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             The benefits of sweating every day.
 

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             The power of worship music.
 

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             Staying in the day.
 

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             That I am not invincible, my body cannot do everything Iíd like it to.
 

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             Vegetables can be good and interesting-thanks Mom.
 

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             Empathy for those who are disabled.
 

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             Patience for those who move slowly.
 

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             Understanding people who continue to run despite injuries.
 

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             That I refuse to live in fear and discontinue doing the things I love.
 

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             God takes good care of me.