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I’m Grateful, Whether I’m Part of Reunions or Half-marathons


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| Sarcoidosis News | banner graphic for Calvin Harris' column, "Run Your Own Race," depicting a man running across a field

Sometimes, you know you’re in a unique time of your life, and you should just appreciate your good fortune without questioning it. For me, I’m in such a time.

Last weekend, I gathered at my college alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta, to celebrate my 30-year reunion. It was amazing, humbling, and exciting to greet so many old friends. It was sad in some ways, however, because with each passing year, fewer and fewer of our classmates attend.

I still remember my graduation day in May 1992. Back then, a speaker made a point of asking us graduates to look at our classmates. She told us that our group would never be fully together again and that we should treasure the moment.

Sadly, she was correct, as two classmates passed away in the summer of 1992. Others have passed away over the past 30 years or had life circumstances that forced them to disconnect from the group.

And even during this past reunion weekend, a classmate who flew into town learned he had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. For the safety of his classmates and despite flying into Atlanta solely for the reunion, he stayed in his hotel room for the weekend. As someone with sarcoidosis, I appreciated his care.

Nevertheless, my class of 1992 keeps getting smaller and smaller, a reminder that we must treasure such times together.

Similarly, this weekend, I hope to run my fourth half-marathon, the RBC Brooklyn Half. My first two were virtual, on another course and without the other runners. Last year, I was profiled before the race. If I’m successful, this will mark three years in a row I’ve run at least one half-marathon. After COVID-19 made my marathon training harder this winter, I’m excited and hopeful to make this race my next starting line.

But how do I run half-marathons when my pulmonary sarcoidosis can make it a challenge to just stand still? How do I manage my breathing over 13 miles when my lungs are compromised by this disease?

The honest answer — I have no idea. I just run.

I’ve seen dozens of scans of my lungs and had many tests of them (through the infamous pulmonary function test). They say I shouldn’t be able to run, at least not for very long. But I can.

Admittedly, I do think that I’ve been fortunate, or blessed, that my version of sarcoidosis, while quite challenging, isn’t quite challenging enough to stop me. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of runs (both long and short) that have been tough. I fully expect that if I make it to the starting line of this race, crossing its finish line will be extremely tough.

But I simply put those thoughts aside, accept my good fortune, and make sure that I appreciate where I am.

Sometimes, that is good enough.

Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

The post I’m Grateful, Whether I’m Part of Reunions or Half-marathons appeared first on Sarcoidosis News.

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