My Journey

For those three of you who used to read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I wrote a lot.  Three time or more here, and both other publications as well.  I also did For Immediate Release as a correspondent.  Then, it stopped.

But so did I.  The picture to the right tells the story of where I was on February 23, 2011 and September 24, 2011.  It was the journey that took me from a near-death experience to living every day like I were dying.

The details don’t matter a ton, but in February, I discovered that I had big time problems with my heart and

Before and After - and Minus 40 Pounds

Before and After - and Minus 40 Pounds

underwent an emergency (read: next morning) angioplasty.  Three blocked arteries, one of which had been blocked for so long that the docs didn’t even try to fix it.  I escaped both a heart attack and bypass surgery by the skin of my teeth.

A lot of people said that I was the “luckiest man alive,” and it was true, but what I did not anticipate was the aftershock of coronary artery disease and the pnemonia that came after.  So I spent a lot of time in the fetal position sucking my thumb.  To be honest, it took me three months or so before I shook it off.

It was then that I decided that I could either take control of my health and live life or let circumstances be decided for me.  Forgive the slogan, but I chose life.

Over the summer, I started taking long walks in my neighborhood in West Virginia.  Those walks turned into hikes up and down our 1,500-foot elevation mountain.  The hikes then turned into short runs. The short runs turned into longer runs.  And into runs at home in DC, and not just in West Virginia.

Then (and there is no particular significance to this date), I really started running on July 30th.  Since that time, I have run a 5k, and 8k (the before and after picture above) and done about 102 miles.  Not a ton by others’ standards, but for an old, fat white guy, not bad.

I had to use all of my energy and focus on getting healthy;  to ensure that I would be around for a long time for my  children.  So I would not become a burden for my whole family.

Having done the 8k, I am now signed up for a 10k and plan to continue to 40-pound weight loss.  And now that I feel like I have things under control, I imagine that you’ll be hearing more from me in this space – and others.  I have more time and energy to focus.

That’s where I’ve been, but I think I’m back.




  1. Jessica Jackson Says: September 27, 2011 at 5:54 am

    YAY! So glad you’re back…you were missed!!! More importantly, glad that you’re getting healthy…we need your continued inspiration around here 🙂 Looking forward to your next post!


  2. I’m delighted to hear you’re healthy again, Mark. Sounds like it was a nightmare, but glad it’s behind you!

  3. Man, now I am feeling guilty about our dinner in Miami. Great story and thanks for the update. Good to know you’ll be around a lot longer. Who else can I mock when the Red Sox choke? If THEY don’t give you a heart attack, nothing will!

    Live long and prosper, my friend.

  4. Raquel Fuentes Says: September 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Glad to know you’ll be around to entertain, enlighten and teach us a thing or two.

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