One of the things that makes physical therapy easier is to disguise it as something that your child wanted to do anyway. Alice loves people and she loves to take pictures of people. She had a camera that broke, so I replaced it with a very cheap Sony Bloggie. It doesn't have a lot to it. I wish it had a "tap to take" shutter, but Alice copes with it well. My trick was to put a simple tripod on the camera so she would be forced to hold onto it with her right hand.
Her right hand is the one affected by the stroke and we have to push her constantly to use it and to grab things with it. Enter the camera:
Just look at that hand! She's wrapping all the fingers around the leg, wrapping her thumb and holding her wrist straight to support the camera. This is more than she usually does with that hand and she's working it perfectly, as you can see here:
This is me just passing the three mile mark. Before I get too deep, I want to thank you all for your support. Together, we raised just over $3000 for the MDSC and the entire group of runners raised over $28,000. That is a terrific accomplishment.
That said, I won't sugarcoat it - I had an awful run. I ran out of energy early and the pain in my hip and lower back was omnipresent. I had taken a good dose of ibuprofen, but it didn't touch it. On the good side, my first three miles were pretty much as I'd hoped them to be. I walked the rest at the most brisk pace I could manage, which had me clocking about 15 minute miles, which is still close to my intended pace. At mile 5, I ran into Ken, a friend of mine from Oberlin who was there with his son and his father watching the race. He gave me a tremendous hug and kindly walked and talked with me as I finished out the race and came along as I went to find my family to get back home.
There were several highlights to the race for me - first, I was very happy that the race was started by Frank Shorter, who won a gold medal in the Olympics in 72 and has won this race twice. Second, in the wheelchair division, in addition to the terrific competitors, they had Team Hoyt - I admire that Dick Hoyt has accomplished so much. Third, my family was cheering my on at mile three. Fourth, Ken. Fifth, as we were walking back after the race, Alice told me several times that I was "a really fast runner" and "Daddy, you are my hero." She was also quick to point out that I was very wet, but that didn't stop her from hugging me. That meant the world.
Now I'll consider what's next - how to tend my wounds (I have a huge blister on the sole of one foot) and to move forward.
I'm in my sister-in-law's house watching a mourning downpour getting myself ready for the race. In about 45 minutes, I'll be heading to a shuttle to take me to Wood's Hole at the starting line. I'm anxious and my hip and back are bothering me more than they should. I'm also very happy. You have helped me raise just over $3000 for the MDSC. All the teams together have raised more than $28,000. It's nice to be a part of that.
At the luncheon yesterday, I met several of the other runners as well as their families and their stories. I'm considering next year if my body allows it.
Thank you again.