I have written a lot over the past many months about my journey. I have talked about how my journey is about physical and mental health, it is about happiness, about being a dad, and about just trying to find the best way to be who I am. Almost all of these efforts require me to tell myself to work towards a goal. I say a lot that if you put your mind to it, you can do it. But what if there is a disconnect between you mind/will and your body? What if you telling yourself to walk doesn’t always work? Would you keep trying? Would such a disconnect derail your progress?
I am running a virtual 5k the first weekend of October. I have never run that far. I have a lot of doubts that I can run that far, but I am running it because I have the privilege to tell my body to push through. I am fortunate enough that when I tell my legs to go one in front of the other, they do. I am running for the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s run to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease research.
As some of my friends and family know, my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease over 10 years ago. My father has historically been somebody who just gets things done and may sometimes prefer not asking for help (This was usually evident when driving on road trips, before GPS, but also with home projects and anything, really). Parkinson’s disease has taken that away from him… but only in some ways. My father has the type of attitude that does not let downturns impact him. He is the type of person who channels all emotions and circumstances into progress and positive attitude. I have forever marveled at that. But what my father no longer has is the ability for his body to always do what his mind tells it to do. His body sometimes doesn’t want to cooperate. This is one of the major effects of this disease, loss of motor function. Despite this, my dad still moves and pushes each and every day.
Sometimes it takes a situation like this for you to change your perspective. I take for granted that I simply can go for a run when I need a workout. I take for granted that I have this privilege of opportunity and I should not let that go to waste. My body deserves my best. This change in perspective also helps to highlight a need for us to find the joy in what we have and to use the downturns and struggles as power for our effort.
I am running because I want there to be a cure for this disease. I am running because it is a good cause. I am running because I should. I am running this because I want to let my father know that I don’t always know what to do or what to say, but I can show him a level of dedication and effort. This level of dedication and effort is my way of saying, “I have watched you work your ass off, push, and forge on, the least I can do is do this for you.”
I am asking for your support in this run. If you can financially contribute, please do. 100% of the donations go straight to research. I am including the link in this post. If you can give encouragement, please also do that.