I'm in Buford Georgia as I start writing this, waiting for noon before I go to ProCare to get Jato a tune-up, or, as I like to think of it, a blade sharpening. I got in very late and didn't go to sleep until after midnight, and then had a vivid dream that was been on my mind ever since.
In the dream I was at a race, not any one that I recall specifically but more like elements of the Myrtle Beach half and the Charleston Marathon. I started way in the back; there was a separate start for faster runners and then another for everyone else including walkers. This part of the dream was much like the Myrtle Beach course as we made two left turns after the start and I recall having to negotiate around many walkers who obviously had no idea what they were doing.
In my dream I am an amputee. In the few running dreams I've had since losing my foot I am always an amputee, never able-bodied. This is who I am. The thing I think about is since my brain knows for a fact I have no right foot, that some of the science of phantom pain might need some reconsideration of the notion the mind needs to be "taught" that the limb is gone. Without delving into this subject too deeply, I believe it is not unlike muscle memory that the severed nerve endings are experiencing. They are reporting something afoot is amiss, and the brain says "yeah, what do you want me to do about it," and the nerves respond with "I dunno, you are brains of this organization, say something." And that something is phantom pain or phantom sensation. I am not so sure it dulls over time as much as an acceptance and then an ignoring of the signals.
But I digress. As we start this dream race, I am weaving my way from the back of the pack around the walkers and a few runners. My prosthesis feels wonderful, I am aware of it but not a single hotspot, no friction; just the feeling of my residual limb clad in this artificial appendage. I find myself running faster, too fast I think, passing many people and I feel more like my quicker, able-bodied self before the ankle pain stole that joy from me. There is no effort whatsoever to my running, breathing is easy and I am flying. Flying. It feels so good, this very thing we may nearly feel on our best running days.
As I am running it is now as if I am watching myself from above, still feeling the effortless motion of my body. To my right I see Ashley and Carol Kurpiel. They are smiling and it looks like they are at a New Year's celebration, confetti in the form large white paper pages is floating down and there are others enjoying the festivity. I then see they are being televised and I am happy that they are getting this publicity, because I am hopeful it will bring more donations to our cause, to cure FOP.
When I wake I realize a big difference in this dream and all my other prior running dreams. In earlier dreams I have that effortless feeling, but am often leading a race, far out in front. Then I get lost, or the course changes into some office or store maze I try to work through, and I am thinking I feel so good...it is a shame to be lost and having to run slower because I do not know my way.
In this dream I am not lost at all, I know my place and I am happy and content and don't feel apart from everyone else. It is a nice dream. A wonderful dream.
And I live it now.