I Faced the Cold

by Steve McGill

The year was 1984. In the spring of my senior year of high school. I was preparing to run my first race since being let out of the hospital three months earlier. The temperature had dipped into the forties, windy. I didn’t want to run in this weather. More than anything, I feared fatigue. I feared the fatigue that I had felt when running this same race a year ago. I feared the feeling that my lungs were bursting, that my leg muscles were locking up, that I wouldn’t be able to finish. Last year, at the beginning of the outdoor season, that death feeling occurred around the sixth hurdle in a 300m hurdle race. Then, by the middle of the season, it occurred around the 4th hurdle. Then, by the end of the season, it occurred by the second hurdle. I didn’t know what was wrong. I thought I was just out of shape. Five months later, in October of my senior year of high school, I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia. That’s when it all made sense.

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