Marathon Man

Today marks the dusk of 2013, a year full of determination, grit and ear fulls.

Of things achieved that I had given up hope on, of strength against some fairly debilitating adversities.

Of developing characters and all consuming pride and joy.

Of acceptance that laurels are not to be rested upon, that a year can change your game plans dramatically. I know not of our next move.

Today I ran 7km, for the first time ever. Depending on how the pendulum swings, you either think that’s chip paper news, or headline grabbing. If I’d have known a year ago, I’d have believed it to be a tabloid fabrication. Photoshopped. But I did it, and I will continue to keep running, because if this year has taught me anything, it’s that I have to keep really busy to stop the worry, it’s that all bets are off.

I deserve to undertake this feat of endurance, because I have been granted a mind and body that allows it. There is no logical reason, my unfit state and inherent laziness aside, why I cannot run a marathon. And as I train for this epic event in 2014, it’s not hard to connect the dots back as to the why and who.

2013 has been a real game of two halves for RD. He’s had solid Purple Patches, yet continually, month after month, his body lets him down. It just isn’t playing fair. Our couch to hospital stay has been divided into comfortable training chunks, the stays a little longer, the pain more difficult to abate. We’re more motivated to go in, knowing that we can no longer home manage beyond 12 hours. But it’s not adding up to a great stretch. I think we’re about to hit peak.

Rufus is being admitted when well, for probably around two weeks. This doesn’t feel right, in fact, every bone of my body that is about to be attacked by the pull down bed, doesn’t want this to be the way. But he needs his gait analysed. He’s not gained any weight in a year. In fact, he’s lost weight. And I only thought that was possible to do by taking off his socks. Conversely he’s still growing- 5cm in a year. I think Stretch ArmsNotSoStrong is about to hit capacity. So we need a plan. And so the paediatric gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology teams of Manchester are about to convene and scratch their heads like an episode of House. And Roo has to keep up his end by consistently putting on some beef. No January detox for him.

I have more than a suspicion that this might be a highway to nothing. And I think I’m quite an optimist. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hospital time and running time operate on a very similar system. A lot of slog, where sometimes whole chunks of time disappear, and others when the minutes and seconds are grindingly slow as either your child or body cry in pain. But getting to the end, and working out how to improve next time somehow makes it worth it.



But it’s not just the boy that has kept me trucking with such stoicism and bravery, and odds defying abilities. It’s the cheeky little monkey on my back, poking her finger up my nose. I run because I want to make her proud. To know she can set out to achieve, just as my own mother has taught me. She’s brought such balancing normalcy to our family this year. Plus when she comes at you with a nose that appears to produce snot at will, you’ve got to learn to get away quickly. But as I watch her in front of me, flicking through the pages of a book, telling herself the same story from the Flintstones (“yabba dabba yabba dabba”) I’m so thankful for her vim and vigour.


The Ds Band of Brothers. Our Cousins are our first best friends...
The Ds Band of Brothers. Our Cousins are our first best friends…

And to my sleeping partner, who occasionally grinds my gears (whilst I myself am obviously perfect. And fart fairy dust), actually keeps those gears turning. A true partner, flag waver and sideline cheerer. Somehow a gun starter, pace maker, and fan at the finishing line, we can enter 2014 knowing that whatever twist or turn it takes, we’ll manage. And bicker. And laugh.

In the long run, it’ll be alright.




2 thoughts on “Marathon Man

  1. you my love will always be alright xxxx you and your beautiful family have love lots of and support whenever you need it xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx from the 3 whittakers who miss the little manxxx

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