For Christmas this year my children gave my wife and I a year’s subscription to StoryWorth. It’s a gift that fits the 2020 model of being trapped at home looking for things to do besides futile attempts to make sour dough bread. I hoping it’s not clairvoyant on their part for 2021.
The basis of the gift is the gifter (my children) sends a weekly question to the giftee (me) in an attempt to record insightful information about my past life. The resulting collection of memories recorded by the giftee will be compiled into a book at the end of the year. Pretty neat idea other than the weekly homework assignment. Part of me thinks this is payback for all the years of chasing them to do their school work.
The exercise got me thinking about what it would be like to relive special days out of my childhood? Would they be as joyous and carefree as I remember them or have I rewritten them in my memory to be that way. Having reached the age of early senility my memory may be a questionable facsimile of reality.
I realized I can make good use of my time while out jogging to organize my thoughts to respond to Storyworth questions, a task that faces two challenges. The first is the afore mentioned memory reliability and the second is trying to split my mental capacity between thinking and jogging. You might think “no big deal, jogging doesn’t require much brain power, it’s pretty much automatic, like breathing”. In a previous life, I would have agreed but in the category of “the gifts that keep on giving”, chemo and steroids have presented me with balance and coordination challenges that make jogging require a bit more focus these days. As a result, letting my mind wander can cause my jogging to wander (embarrassingly into traffic or people’s yards). It’s also a constant vigil against potholes, curbs, and sidewalk cracks which are conspiring to cause rather dramatic face-plants. At this point a reasonable person might ask “Why do you bother to continue to try to run?” Fair question that deserves a thoughtful answer. Truth is, I don’t have one. Oh, I can come up with answers like it’s how I raise funds for Help in the Nick of Time/pediatric cancer programs or to keep my sanity during the infinitely boring pandemic or I’m better at it than making sour dough bread.
While these are all partially true, the real reason is, I hate what Leukemia treatment has taken away from me and I’m determined to take back as much as I can. I can’t do anything about the loss of taste and smell, loss of balance or about the dry eyes but I can fight to get my strength back enough to run. It’s clear now that I will never get back to where I was or even ever run a marathon again but I’m way ahead of where I was when I left the hospital and this year’s multi-day marathon challenge will hopefully be a step up (pun intended) from last year.
More on that challenge, some of the programs we have funded this year through Help in the Nick of Time, and training during the pandemic in the coming blogs. Stay tuned!