Thursday, November 25, 2010


Since I've been an adult, Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I love the anticipation of knowing exactly what the day is going to be like, and never being disappointed. It's an easy holiday. Easy, because there is nothing superficial about it and people have little to no expectations from others. It requires little effort and lots of love. Sure, preparing the meal requires time and hard work but something tells me that those who volunteer to serve up the goods, are just as happy to share their labor of love with you as you are to savor it. Plus, it's my annual tradition to watch 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles', and laugh my a** off again and again at the same stupid scenes.

This Thanksgiving will be special to me because I will be participating in my first 5K race since my surgery. I ran the local Turkey Trot 5K last year on Thanksgiving and really enjoyed the energy and stimulus of the crowd. This year I decided I would participate in the Cardiac Classic 5K, here in Schenectady's Central Park. Truth be told, I'm terrified - not of the race, but of the temperature right now. Mr. Weatherman says it's at around 22 degrees. Scorcher, eh?  I will look like the Michelin Man, with my 5 layers of clothing, but I don't care. This is a big day for me, and I don't expect anyone to understand, but...  I'm running a 5K  two months after I donated my kidney!

I have been dedicated to my training since I was given the green light by my doctor to start running again on October 22nd. I am still slow, I'm winded a bit, and I still have small and short stabbing pains in my abdomen that come quickly but leave just as fast. I'm just now beginning to get back to my goals at the gym with my strength training, and hopefully soon will be much stronger. See, I find this all fascinating. It blows my mind that a person can donate their organ, recover, and then feel as though nothing really happened only two months later, and then have the ability to run a road race. I'm dreading the cold temperatures but very excited to participate. My goal is to finish (before Christmas). I don't care how long it takes me (yes I do), and I'm sure this is not going to be one of my better races, but, it's a huge accomplishment for me.

For today's race I posted this sign on the back of my Michelin Man outfit...
I'll be wearing it proudly.

Perhaps some of you readers would consider donating your kidney but are concerned about your ability to successfully continue your physically challenging activities long after your surgery. You should be concerned, just as I was. Because just as fitness is the balance in my life, I know that many others have prioritized activities in their lives too. I'm here to tell you that you will not lose that ability. Please don't let that fear hinder your decision to become a living kidney donor.  You will recover. You will get your strength back. You will feel fantastic. I do!

This year, as I reflect on what I'm thankful for, among all the elements I have in my life that make me feel blessed, I'm most thankful for my health. Look where it took me, look at who received it, and look where it's going...  today.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone,  and I hope that I might inspire somebody today to take the path I chose and be a living kidney donor. The journey will be uniquely yours, but you will have me and many other donors, behind you and supporting you every step of the way.

Until next time... for today  -  eat lots, love your family and friends, and never take your health for granted.