It’s 3:45a.m. and insomnia is back. I had it beat there for a few days but there’s no getting around bio-chemistry. You see, the main problem with Parkinson’s is that it causes a deficiency in the neuro-transmitter Dopamine which is responsible for communicating movement demands to the body. The medicine that I take does help the symptoms, but it’s just not very smart. It doesn’t make me hyper at all but it just floods the brain with neuro-transmitters which makes it very hard to even want to sleep at night. So I’m bummed because I need to sleep. It is vital for recovering from training. In fact, with the amount of sleep I’ve been missing my body’s Testosterone production is surely almost non-existent. This mystifies me as to how I’ve been able to keep making gains in my training in spite of this deficiency. Mind over matter? Maybe. I strongly believe in the power of the mind to overcome the impossible, but this is really starting to drain my resolve. Every day I’m faced with challenges that wake up that evil little voice of common sense. It says, “Do you really think you can keep pushing for 20 more years? Relax. You deserve to take it easy with the rest of your time. You’re just going to lose in the end anyway.” It’s a very seductive bastard and it actually makes some valid points. Pardon my French but Fuck that. The one thing I learned from this extended layoff is that if I want to keep moving, then I have to keep moving. When I slow down, Park’s speeds up.

There is only one way in life to give yourself a guaranteed result of action. Quit. Trying opens the door to failure. We all crave stability in life. The status quo is comfortable when you silence your ambition. There are so many cliches that I could use here but I won’t. We’ve all heard them all before and as much as we might roll our eyes when we hear them again, we can’t deny their truth. So I will not take it easy and ease off into the sunset. The one gift that a diagnosis like this gives you is a true appreciation for the value of life. My efforts will cause me discomfort, fatigue, and injury. They will very often end in failure. To top it off, in the end, the disease will win. But if this epic quest I’ve undertaken leads to just one more good day, then that day might be the best day of my whole life. In fact, the last day of my life will likely be the best day of my life because I will have pride in the way this life was lived. I will be thankful for the opportunity to help others by living as an example of dogged determination in the face of a titanic adversary. I will rest easy knowing that my children can be proud and pass my values onto their own family. In that respect, the core of what is me will live forever.

So to my evil little voice of common sense I say only this. Save it. I know you want what’s best for me and that is why I deny you. Keep your fair winds and calm seas, I choose the storm.

Invictus – By William Ernest Hendley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.