Monday, March 15, 2010

Mark Austry

Back on March 15th, just one day after the Rock n Roll Half in Dallas, I started a blog about Mark Austry. Mark was a physician recruiter who got his start in the same company as me. I kept waiting to finish the blog, editing, deleting, rewriting, waiting for answers. How could a really healthy, 32 year old man die at a half marathon... Weeks later and still no answers, just that he had high levels of potassium in his blood.

Wow. Shades of the Disney Marathon for me, only I checked out of the hospital against medical advice because I figured it was just my asthma acting up as usual. The look Elaine gave me when I announced we were leaving makes more sense now. But that day I signed countless papers saying that I understood that my kidneys looked like they were shutting down, my heart could stop at any moment, I had already had more than four breathing treatments and still had a tight wheeze... check, check, check, sign, taxi.

I wonder now how foolish I was really being. The stubborn part of my brain (the part we all have left over from being 18 and certain that we would never die or get older) says I'm clearly fine so I made the right choice. The overly sensitive part of my brain (the part that wants me to have a better reason for being vegetarian than not really liking meat and wishes I were more zen like) says I'll be more careful in the future because life is a gift and my decisions affect more than just me. The brutally honest part of my brain (the part that had to give my tri coach my height and weight for a new wetsuit) knows I won't be. I'll continue to push it to the max, sweat it out, dance when I pass bands - marching or otherwise- wheeze and keep walking, only quit when an ambulance is imminent.

For more information on an amazing man visit the Star-Telegram.

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