Show me your running shoes and I’ll show you health

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As you might have seen on my Facebook page, I’ve started a new Thursday challenge. This time it’s about sport. As most of you probably know I love to run. I didn’t love it at first sight, but I grew to love it. I did my first run when I was around ten years old. I had a bad, bad cough, the kind of cough you get when you have cystic fibrosis, and I had to run in order to save my lungs. Of course, I hated it. It was beyond hard, but it did save my life. Only because of my running, only because of my sport I reached December 28th, 2002, the day of my transplant.

After my organ transplant I was beyond excited to be able to say: “I don’t need to run anymore to stay alive. I can just sit on my sofa and be lazy.” And I truly could have. Running was not a therapy anymore, but sooner than I wanted to admit to myself, I started to miss it. Running was very hard before my transplant. Often it was accompanied by horrible coughing, headaches, lung bleeding, and many other disturbing things, but when I had a good day, when the coughing was not as bad, running felt like living. Running made me feel strong, and that was the main reason why I started to miss it. I didn’t just want to feel alive after my transplant, I wanted to feel healthy, feel strong, and running was the only way to get there.

I run different today. I only run as fast as I feel like. I have no desire to push myself anymore. I fought enough in my life. When my legs hurt, I run slower. I don’t do interval training anymore, I don’t run beyond pain, I don’t run to get faster. I just run for joy, and for the feeling of health.

My new Thursday challenge is not only about running, but it’s about feeling healthy and satisfied with your body. Being a transplant recipient you learn to mistrust your body, but sport can help you to become whole again, body and mind. I’m a double lungs and liver transplant recipient, and I’ll show you every Thursday what an organ transplanted body is capable of. Health is possible, but it won’t come and sit with you on the sofa, you have to get up and chase it.

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