Monday, March 2, 2009

Walk.Run.Live.Love.

Next Saturday, myself along with a fantastic team of family and friends will be participating in the Methodist Hospital Stride4Stroke Awareness 5K Walk/Run. It's been over a year since I first set out to do a little jog around the block. A smoker then, this was no easy task. My goal was a neighborhood loop that was approximately 1 mile. As you can imagine, it took me several weeks to accomplish the task of a consistent snails pace jog around that one mile loop. Walking breaks were more like jogging breaks when I first started.

Walk for about 5 minutes and jog for about 20 seconds. No, that is not a typo.

It did not take long for me to realize that quitting the nicotine habit would vastly improve my lung capacity and hence my ability to drag myself around the neighborhood on foot. The idea of quitting had already been something I mulled over and really, I had put all the steps in place and cut back to just a handful a day. If you have ever been a hard core smoker, then you know this is no easy task.

It wasn't long before I found myself in the Dr.'s office asking about a new Rx to help curb the effects of quitting. Of course, she was completely on board with that and I jumped on the Chantix bandwagon. Along with tons of prayer and the strength of the Lord, I was able to quit on my 'quit date' and never look back.

Needless to say, I am now running on average 12-15 miles a week and feel healthier than I ever have in my life. My chances of having a stroke have been reduced significantly.

But, all that is not really the story I want to share with you.

In 2004, my aunt (grandmother of this little bit of heaven) suffered a severe stroke. She was moved to Methodist Hospital in Houston and the prognosis was grim. The details are all a little hazy to me now, but I recall the biggest detail of all. It was uncertain whether she would survive or not and even if she did, her quality of life would suffer dramatically. She was a healthy woman, guys. She did not smoke or drink alcohol. She exercised regularly, ate healthy meals, maintained a healthy work/life balance and loved the Lord with all of her heart! But, even in those ideal circumstances she lived with stress in her life. Really, how many of us don't?

Needless to say, she has made a miraculous recovery. She has returned to her life of working, exercising, eating healthy and loving and living for the Lord. She is an AMAZING lady!


Here she is with her daughter and newest granddaughter.
Stroke education isn't in the forefront of medical news like cancer or heart health. This walk/run is to help support Methodist Hospitals education efforts. For more stroke education and resources, please check out their site. You can find information on signs, symptoms, risk factors and treatments.
Sadly, not everyone survives a stroke. A dear, dear friend of mine lost her father to a stroke several years ago. He had all the classic risk factors associated with stroke victims, but chose to do nothing about it. Could his choices have been different if the educational resources were more readily available to him? Possibly so.
If you would like to support our team and Methodist Hospital, please go here and make a donation to the team s4s_walk.run.live.love. The denomination of your support does not matter, it's the attitude of giving that means the most.

1 comment:

James and Elizabeth said...

Way to go Amy! Ugh, I remember her stroke clear as day. I was in Brazil and it about killed me. This sounds like an awesome event! Have FUN!