Bravery is life
Waking up, working, living
No heroism here.
Surviving brain injury is life changing. What used to be simple takes planning. It is living everyday with a body and mind that does not function the same way it did before the injury. Daily life activities take planning. I decide what clothes to wear to work the night before, to eliminate a decision in the morning. Everything I need to remember is put into my iPad.
After the Boston Marathon bombings, I made the decision that I was going to run a marathon again. I signed up for the Missoula, MT race on July 14th. I was already training for the half marathon. I had run 30 full marathons prior to my injury. My plan was running to finish, not for place or time. Upon increasing mileage in training, it became readily apparent that my body was not ready for training. My migraines returned with a vengeance. Being unable to run a marathon is the ultimate defeat. The challenge of this distance has teased me for years. Strength training, swimming, and biking rounded out cross training; my body was fit and strong. It was my hope to someday, somehow, get my post-concussive body and brain back to at least marathon running. It was not to be. I contacted the race director and asked to be dropped back to the half marathon. Yes, 13.1 miles is a long run. It is an accomplishment to complete, two years after a moderate TBI.
Change is something that everyone faces in life. For some, change is a sudden visitor: one second and life is radically different. For others, change is gradual or expected: you grow older, or graduate from school. How we handle change is the measure of who were are; spiritually, emotionally, mentally. Change is a blessing that comes wrapped in roses, beautiful and thorny. It takes us from what is comfortable and thrusts us into uncertainty. We then struggle to return to balance, to homeostasis. Yet, without change, there is no growth. I have grown as a person from my experience with TBI. Spiritually, I have a deeper understanding of my connection to the Goddess and the universe. I spend more time meditating. Mentally, I was humbled. My brain works slower. I had pride in my intelligence. I lost some IQ, some facility in language. It has been humbling to not be as intelligent as I was before, to have to work harder to understand and remember new lessons. The brain is a wonderful and complicated organ. Life is change. Embrace it.