I am just starting my first March Marathon post now, at 2:30. Breaking with my own tradition, I was sound asleep at 12:01, as the month officially began because I knew sleep was my highest priority if I was going to get up at 5:45 AM with some energy and a smile.
I had my clothes out before I headed to a 9PM exit to get as much as could for the morning Climb ahead.
Last year Tuvia and I showed up for the brunch that followed Team Katniss’s first Climb for MS at Top of the Rock. All 66 floors for the band that came together when my niece, Leigh, was diagnosed with MS. Ironically, she was then completing her internship required for a Physical Therapy doctorate and she knew, first hand, what MS was from her own patients. Now she knew the disease intimately.
A year later Team Kapniss has grown to 33 members with lots of family and friends supporting on the side lines. I was challenged to join the Climb. My trainer, Anthony urged me on, in fact, worked with me just yesterday. My nutritionist, Jenn, sharing personal experience on a Climb up those same stairs was sure the team spirit would be infectious and when Leigh got my text that I had signed up, she shot back a response that confirmed my determination. My brother, Leigh’s dad assured me that we would be walking together, as slowly as need be.
Okay, I was psyched. Tuvia would be waiting at the top, taking the elevator up with the rest of the family.
I was off at 8:15, surrounded by lots of youth and some adults close to me but I’m sure I was the lone 65 year-old. The first few floors were okay, but very soon I was starting to sweat and soon to feel a bit dizzy and my chest felt funny. Rick was willing to stop with me often as we made it to the first level with water and chairs and snacks. I urged Rick to keep going. I was ready to stop but a wonderful woman, Deborah, a PT teacher of Leigh’s was wondering what she would do and together we decided to keep going to the next stop at the 38th floor.
Like Rick, Deborah was willing to stop with me often to catch my breath a breathe. She walked behind me when she heard I was feeling dizzy. I pushed through to the 38th floor, drinking water, sitting down the Deborah, having my pulse taken by the EMT. It was racing but not anything dangerous. Just warning me that enough was enough.
Deborah pushed on and made it to the top as I headed for the elevator that brought me down, back to the start.
It was a great experience, really great to see Leigh glowing, having an easier time than she had last year. It felt good to be there for her, to bask in her circle of friends and family. She is loved and should be. My mom used to call her “sweetness”. What a perfect description. She is happiest as a physical therapist , when she is working with the elderly. I’m not surprised. She has found her calling. So happy to be with her and the TEAM today.
I don’t know that I will take on this challenge again. I think I my heart sent me a sign. Remember you’re 65. For now I’ll just hang out with Tuvia, home, warm and watch yet another Sunday snowfall.
10 more days to Cancun!!!!