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A Valentine to CHD Athletes

Feb 13

Posted by: ACHA
2/13/2012 12:56 PM  RssIcon

By Paul Willgoss

My definition is an athlete is anyone who does a couple of things:

  1. Trains for something—has a goal in mind and works towards it
  2. Times his or herself—just to check for improvements
  3. Keeps going—also known as sheer pig-headedness

So, anyone who signs up for any event—be it a 5k walk in their local park, a 10k run, a half marathon or anything—really is an athlete. That we have a heart condition is just an added complication.

So this is my Valentines to you, dear reader, and I can hear you say…

Where are the roses?

The chocolates?

The romantic dinner?


My dozen red roses: You are an athlete. It does not matter one little bit if you come first, 576th, 23,456th or last. If you look at that watch, and keep an eye on how far you’ve gone, then you are an athlete.

Feel the slight roughness of the petals against your cheek.

My box of Belgian chocolates: Almost every kid who laughed when you struggled in football (soccer) or track and field will not be an athlete now. Look on Facebook, look at your old friends; see how many never think about doing anything. You do. You are more of an athlete than you think possible.

Feel those chocolates melt in your mouth.

The Candlelit Dinner: The starter, a promise of things to come—set yourself a challenge. The main course—train, and train to the best of your abilities. Do not judge yourself by what anyone else can do, this is your Valentine. The sweet, sweet dessert—do it, live your challenge and win, lose, or draw, you will be a lost in a cacophony of emotions.

Savour the flavours.

The seduction: So how does it feel, my Valentine, to know that you are an athlete? With a thousand-yard stare you can look down a start line and say, “I was there, I tried and I did.”

Use all of your sense to remember this day, and because this is a seduction…

Choose your next challenge.

Marathon runner, GUCH (Grown Up with Congenital Heart Disease), long-distance hiker, charity trustee, patient advocate and whisky lover—Paul Willgoss is all of these and more. A member of the Most Honourable Order of the British Empire, his efforts both in front and behind the scenes for those with congenital heart defects have been recognized at the highest levels in his native U.K.

Location: Blogs Parent Separator ACHA Blog

1 comment(s) so far...


Re: A Valentine to CHD Athletes

I LOVE your allusions! I've never been much of an athlete, but I do walk almost every day, and I need to keep increasing the distance to equal 20 minutes of exercise! This is very good, esp. for me.
Thanks for your valentine to all of us.

By Connie on   2/13/2012 8:05 PM

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