Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Long Run - a book on recovery and the power of the human spirit

Last weekend I read Matt Long's The Long Run and I teared up dozens of times. The book is about Matt Long's recovery after a 20-ton bus hit him, sucking him under it. "In the 18 months before the accident, he had competed in more than 20 events including several triathlons and marathons and had qualified for running’s most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. After the accident, his doctor told him he’d be lucky if he could even walk without a cane. The Long Run is an emotional and incredibly honest story about Matt’s determination to fight through fear, despair, loneliness, and intense physical and psychological pain to regain the life he once had. The book chronicles Matt’s road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon."

My scar
 I've been reflecting on why this book had such an impact on me. I think it's because it hit WAY too close to home, though a much smaller scale than Matt's trauma. In 2009 my appendix burst but a negligent doctor sent me home with a UTI diagnosis. Days of me living with a ruptured appendix without knowing it resulted in doctors having to take out not only my appendix but parts of my small & large intestine as well. I couldn't eat anything for several days. They couldn't close me up because the infection was so severe (hence the scar). And I was in the hospital for 11 days. When I was discharged I could barely walk without assistance. It took me months until I could run again.

I remember those dark days where I thought I would never be able to run at a "fast" pace again. I remember the depression I felt at just being in the hospital for 11 days. So while reading this book I was taking the emotions from my ordeal and then magnifying it by 20x to begin to understand what Matt overcame to run a marathon 3 years after he almost died......amazing what the human body and spirit is capable of!

All runners and anyone who has ever had to overcome a physical challenge should definitely read this book. And while you're at it check out Matt Long's I Will foundation.

Mission: The I WILL FOUNDATION is a non-profit organization established to help people, with the will to work hard, overcome adversity and challenges caused by life altering illness or traumatic injury. Our primary goal is to provide motivational and inspirational support through hands on training, coaching, and financial support when necessary. We believe the will to survive and accomplish all tasks, great and small, is present in all of us whether we recognize it or not. If you have the desire to live your life to the fullest, we can help you.

1 comment:

  1. Too true. I remember how the nurses scared you into thinking your lung capacity would be irreversibly diminished. How wrong they were.