During my Physical Therapy appointment this morning my therapist and I were talking about being a runner. It took me back to the days when I was a great runner and enjoyed doing it everyday. I learned at a young age that I was quite fast and in 7th Grade I joined the Middle School Track Team. I was quickly put on the 100, 200, 4×100 and 4×200. My first Track Coach was Mr. B. He was our shop class teacher and he taught me countless lessons. From then on I honed my skills as a sprinter, but once I joined the Army it was a completely different world. I wasn’t just running short distances, I was running 2 miles daily and sometimes even 5 miles. But the lessons that I was taught about breathing and stretching helped me adapt to the long distance running.
I haven’t ran since 2008. Since my condition didn’t really matter to the Army I tried to make it not matter to me, so I continued to run, even through the pain, but once I was medically evacuated from Kuwait I stopped running. Since then I have missed it greatly. Running was a way to escape the ends and outs of daily life. It helped me run away from issues as home and overcome the depression of poverty. It for once in my life separated me from everyone else. But now it grounds me, I can no longer run, so I must be stronger than ever to fight this fight.
I dream of running and hope that one day I will be able to do it again. But for now, my fight is with those that seek to destroy the things I have fought for. My race now is not on my two feet, but with my words and actions towards my fellow Veterans.