4 Years

I promise to keep this one short and to the point.  This blog entry is about my journey over the last 4 years since I had open heart surgery to repair my leaky Aortic valve.  Not going to go into much detail here but you can read all about it.

Open Heart Surgery

I was planning on taking a break from writing since it had occurred to me that I have been documenting my life over the last 4 years.  It all started when I was preparing for my surgery and ran across a forum where patients like myself could write about their experiences in order to help others.

I found it very therapeutic and wrote every day including right after the surgery.  It continued until I retired and then morphed to this blog called, run all over the world.  It has been a very interesting and exciting 4 years and I have learned a lot about myself along the way.

Most importantly I learned there is more to life than going to work every day to provide for your family.  I am fortunate that all three of my kids are now grown and self-sufficient.  They all have their heads screwed on right and I am very proud of each of them.  I hope I had something to do with it and also hope that I will never be a burden on them as I get old.

I have met some great people along the way and enjoy reading about what they are up to from time to time on Facebook or through emails.  They have each taught me something.  I have learned that what is right for them might not be right for me but that is okay since I have not walked a mile in their shoes.

I have learned that being around like-minded individuals is good for your soul and staying active is the best medicine.  Catherine and I stay very active but at the same time, we listen to our bodies.  We take rest days but at the same time never really take the day off.  We have our travel days but even then we can be seen walking the terminal to get in our 10,000 steps each day.

Like I said before my plan was to take about a month off from writing since not much is going on during this period of time.  We go off on another adventure the middle of July and you can be sure I will be back at it to tell, all that are interested, how that trip went.  However, I realized that fathers day is around the corner which triggered the memory of my surgery since it was three days before fathers day, which back then was June 15, the third Sunday of the month.

My son Shawn and wife Cassie brought me this Fathers day card

I remember like it was yesterday the feeling I had when I woke up from my surgery.  I could not see since vision is the last to return but could hear Catherine in one ear and the nurse in the other telling me to wake up.  I thought I had died and in fact, I had since they had to stop my heart during the surgery.

I knew at that moment that my life as I knew it was going to be completely different but also that staying active was going to continue to be a great part of my life.  I started back training for the Berlin Marathon as soon as my body would allow and ran it 3 months after the surgery.  I have run 12 marathons since my surgery the last one being a little over 2 years ago in Prague.

I have done 64 of them and numerous half marathons over the last 18 years but half marathons are more to my liking now.  I will do one more marathon before the age of 65 just so I will have the milestone of 65 at 65.  Working right now of doing at least a half marathon in all 50 states including DC and only have 5 more to go. 

Catherine will get her last one done in September in Maine.  I will get two others done this year, Vermont in July and either Delaware or Kansas in December so that will only leave two more for 2019.  We will get another half done in Hawaii with our running buddies at RunningCruise.com in September and will finish up the year with a half marathon in Bagan Temple, Yangon, Myanmar with Marathontours.com.

I can’t say it was always a dream of mind to travel the world like Catherine and I have for the last 3 1/2 years just like it was not a dream of mine to become a pilot.  It just turned out that way.  Traditional College was not working for me and the hands-on and excitement of flight just appealed to my inner self.

I have had several occasions in my life where things at the time seemed bad but then turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  My flight surgeon told me at the height of my career that I had a heart murmur which was devastating news.  As the need for surgery became a reality I did not realize that it was just what I needed to get off the merry go round of work.  Always trying to grab for the brass ring and the realization that it was time for me to get off.

Now that we have been at this for 3 years, 180 days and 8 hours.  We have unpacked our bags 342 times and I would not have done anything differently.  I have learned a lot along the way but each experience has meant so much to me.  For example, just because you might need something one day does not mean you should carry it around in your suitcase every day.

I promised I was going to keep it short and I will close with a few pictures taken four years ago and happy fathers day to all the great dads out there.  I tell people all the time to find their passion and then do whatever is necessary to follow it.  I have met many people that love their job but I always ask if their job loves them.

Life is way too short so don’t waste a minute of it and please don’t end it before it is your time to go.  Buckle up, don’t drink and drive and seek help if things are not going your way.  There are loved ones that will miss you dearly and are there to help.

Before my surgery, above, and me on the treadmill days after my surgery

After my first short run 6 weeks after my surgery

After the Berlin Marathon, two thumbs up

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