Written by Anton Zuiker since July 2000
Why mistersugar? Why a pig?
This afternoon, driving south through Chapel Hill and down 15/501 toward Pittsboro, I was remembering when Michael Ruhlman was here in the Triangle in November 2011, promoting his book Ruhlman’s Twenty and telling a story at The Monti. In his story (he mentions it in Book Tour Blessings) he told about learning to kill a rabbit from Thomas Keller, chef at The French Laundry, one of the best restaurants on this planet.
I’d already been in awe of Chef Keller since reading about him in Michael’s The Soul of a Chef, but after hearing Michael tell the rabbit story that night, I figured there was no way I’d ever have a chance to meet such a star. And besides, I thought, he’s a chef, and surely he must safeguard his hands, so how could I ever shake his hand? (I like to shake hands.)
But this afternoon, after standing in line for an hour and a half in the warm but shady beer garden at Fearrington Village waiting to get the sumptuous Bouchon Bakery book signed, I was finally face to face with Chef Keller, and I was stunned when he reached across the table and warmly took my hand. His hand seemed large, and padded, and so gentle. I can’t say it was a shake, because I had the sensation he was holding my hand — maybe because I’d just told the Talk Story crowd on Wednesday about how Noel would hold my hand as we walked up the road to the Lironessa co-op (From There to Here).
Then Chef Keller was signing the book to the Zuiker Family, and pushing it over to co-author Sebastien Rouxel (he’s executive pastry chef for Keller’s restaurant empire). When I mentioned that Michael was a friend, and he is continuously inspiring me, Chef Keller reached out and shook my hand a second time. Michael had actually alerted him that I might be stopping by, and he relayed an endearing message that truly humbled me. I started to chat with Chef Rouxel, and my buddy Bora walked up (he’d just tweeted a picture of a goat to show me he was walking from his home nearby to meet up with me) and suddenly I was seated between the chefs and Bora was snapping a photo.
And then Chef Keller took my hand a third time, saying, “It’s really nice to meet you.” I walked away, happily holding the heavy, expensive cookbook, and I was thinking back to Michael’s story about the rabbits, about how Chef Keller shows enormous respect to the animals and ingredients and elements that go into his cooking. His handshakes seemed to impart that same respect to me today.
What a heavenly day in the garden.
Bothered by a sore back from touching up the paint on the house over the weekend, and crushed by all the projects and work tasks I’m juggling, I went to bed a bit early, thinking I’d get a good night of sleep. I set the alarm for 5:30 a.m., and planned to spend an hour writing and sipping tea before the family’s morning routine kicked in.
But sometime during the night, Oliver had crawled into the bed between me and Erin. He tossed and turned and kicked me in the face. I should move him back to his bed, I thought, but didn’t. When the alarm sounded, I rolled out of bed, not as rested as I wanted to be.
A hot cup of tea got me going, but no writing. Still, faced with the stresses of deadlines and responsibilities, what did I focus on? Another idea.
‘I wonder how I can get the BlogTogether Awards finally going,’ I thought. I’ve long wanted to grow the community service award — I gave it to David Kroll in 2011, and he gave it to Karyn Traphagen in 2012 — into a set of awards that we would give to others across the country who have bootstrapped communities, facilitated conversations and promoted the golden rule and the four Cs of inspiration.
The day is rolling along. Just wanted to get that idea onto the blog. One of these days, maybe with a full night of sleep, I’ll wake up and make this idea happen.
Not yet 5 p.m. as I begin to write this on Mother’s Day 2013, and we’ve just finished a most delicious dinner to honor Erin.
“A lovely meal,” she said, finishing the last of the molten chocolate cake that I’d drizzled with the homemade grenadine and topped with sliced strawberries that Oliver and I had picked after work on Friday.
Earlier, we’d sent Erin away for a massage and time to shop on her own. While Oliver and Malia watched a show, and Anna rested (she was away all yesterday on a band trip to Carowinds amusement park), I sat on the back porch drinking tea and reading the delightful Cooking in the Moment, by Lantern chef Andrea Reusing. (Andrea, an award-winning chef, had crafted a most memorable evening for our Long Table dinner with Michael Ruhlman in November 2011.) Cooking in the Moment is filled with really nice essays on food and farmers and friends and family. I especially like the way she writes about involving her daughter and other children in the process of gathering produce and cooking and eating.
As it happened, one of the reasons we’d sent Erin away was because Anna and Malia, my daughters, were going to cook with me today, following Mark Bittman’s Operation: Mother’s Day. Before we set to doing that, though, I followed an inspiration from Andrea and made ginger syrup. When Erin got home, I handed her a cocktail with muddled strawberries (the same fresh batch picked by Oliver), lime juice, vodka and the ginger syrup. “Oh, this is good,” she said after the first sip.
Soon after, we were seated around the dining room table, marveling at the deliciousness of the roasted-beet salad with goat cheese (beets and chevre purchased yesterday at the Carrboro Farmers Market, and lettuce picked from our backyard garden boxes this afternoon), the braised chicken with tomatoes, olives and capers, and that molten chocolate cake (made in ramekins borrowed from a neighbor in exchange for a jar of the ginger syrup). There wasn’t a single complaint from the kids.
Indeed, Anna and Malia both said that each dish was tasty. I’m sure that having helped over the course of a few hours to prepare and plate this meal, they appreciated the good food in front of them. Anna and I had learned how to separate a whole chicken into eight pieces, Malia learned how to melt bittersweet chocolate into melted butter, and together we practiced separating egg yolks from their whites. For a while, at least, we also followed the ‘clean as you cook’ rule to keep the kitchen tidy. A quick glance over at the counter now tells me we have room to improve. Still, a fantastic cooking experience today.
So, thank you, Anna and Malia, for working beside me in the kitchen, and a hearty thanks to Mark Bittman and Andrea Reusing for their inspiration and guidance.
And, thank you, Erin, for being the amazing, beautiful, loving, patient and generous mother to our children.
For his usual Friday cocktail blogging, Michael Ruhlman went with another drink that uses grenadine. This one also uses key lime, gin and applejack brandy. He’s calling it the Key Sunrise and in his recipe, he was nice enough to suggest using “Mister Sugar pomegranate syrup or other quality grenadine.” He links over to my 2008 post, In the mix, which I’d recently updated to include a howto paragraph about making the pomegranate syrup. And, the accompanying, awesome, photo by Donna Ruhlman features the bottle of grenadine I gave them at Christmas.
In an email exchange with Michael, I explained that I use the grenadine along with Cruzan rum to make the sunburned rum runners mentioned in that earlier post. As soon as I typed that to Michael, I was recalling the smell of molasses.
When I was 13 years old, I lived on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. For the first few months there, we lived in Frederiksted, and to get to school each morning, we had to drive by a place where the Cruzan Rum distillery processed molasses. The pungent smell lingered in our car. When I visited the historic Annaberg Plantation on St. John later that year, I was sure I could smell molasses in the old sugar mill ruins.
In the St. Croix airport, in the corner of the arrivals terminal, Cruzan Rum kept a welcoming pitcher of rum punch. I recall walking up to the stand with my visiting grandfather (Frank the Beachcomber) and watching him enjoy a small cup.
Soon after I moved to North Carolina, I discovered that the ABC stores stock Cruzan Rum, and I always have a bottle on hand. Sometimes, I pay extra for the older single-barrel rum. I sip that neat, or with an ice cube. And when the bottle is getting low, I get a few vanilla beans, slit them, put them into a jar and cover them with the remaining rum. Four months later, I have vanilla extract, and when I use it for baking, I smell the vanilla and the rum, and I remember the smells of molasses and the Caribbean.
I’m surprised I never blogged about this, but I did find this definitive tweet:
Tonight, pomegranate seeds in sugar. Tomorrow, homemade grenadine syrup. Friday night, rumrunners with grenadine and Cruzan rum.— Anton Zuiker (@mistersugar) November 7, 2007
Erin and I and the children have embarked on an ambitious spring cleaning of our home, and I’ve spent many hours sifting through sheafs of papers — so many old bank statements and school notes and holiday cards and junk mail has accumulated, in file cabinets and boxes and piles on the floor. Feels good to discard all that crap, and the house is looking really good.
I joked at one point that I’d love to have an airlock at the front door that incinerated any papers before they could enter — and clutter — the house.
But, amidst all the worthless paper, I’ve found a lot of my writings and other documents worth saving. One stapled set of papers was an article about influenza that I had written for Cleveland Magazine. I’d forgotten all about that. Another paper was a draft of an essay I’d written about the television show Survivor Vanuatu. I scanned the essay, but couldn’t recall where I’d published or posted it.
A couple of days later, I got a cryptic email message from a Duke colleague, saying he now understood my connection to the city of Durham. He directed me to the Independent newsweekly, where I found that editor Lisa Sorg had written a fun Illustrated Encyclopedia of Durham. For Z, she’d selected me to bring up the end of the alphabet.
If you follow Anton on Twitter (@mistersugar) or his blog (mistersugar.com), he’ll fill your head with lots of scientific esoterica and random thoughts that add up to … something. Zuiker (it means “sugar” in Dutch) co-founded the annual ScienceOnline Together conference. He also hosts Talk Story, a live storytelling performance similar to The Monti.
While I was at the Indy’s site, I searched for a couple of other times that I’ve been in the paper, and that’s how I found that my Survivor Vanuatu essay had run there in December 2004.
I have other essays and newspaper clips, as well as college term papers and poems written when I was in Hawaii, spread across boxes and binders and folders. For the longest time, my high school papers were in the attic in two yellow cardboard banana boxes that I’d gotten from the supermarket behind my house in DeKalb, Illinois. In the closet, a big plastic bin contains most of the letters that Erin and I wrote and received when we were Peace Corps volunteers in Vanuatu. And, this blog has 13 years of my thoughts and observations. What does it all add up to? I’m not sure, but a couple of months ago I started to ponder if a redesign of this site might help us all find out.
Meanwhile, I’m actively using the new Fargo outliner, and so I’m watching with interest as Dave Winer explores Blogging 2.0. I imagine he and Kyle Shank will develop something important. In fact, I used Fargo this week to keep track of the news items and memories and observations that I wanted to write here on my blog. The previous, and coming, entries are some of those items. (I didn’t use the Fargo-to-Wordpress functionality because this blog uses Textpattern, but I think there’s a way for me to connect it soon.)
Out shopping this morning for the Mother’s Day meal the kids and I will cook tomorrow, I picked up five more copies of the Independent. For my archives. And that’s how my house gets filled with paper.
But it gave me something to blog about.
Another news report I heard this week on WUNC was that Campbell University now has a Homeland Security degree to teach students about “domestic and international terrorist groups and delve into the background of countries where terror organizations have historically formed.”
More than 20 years ago, I took a class at John Carroll University about the psychology of terrorism. Thomas Evans, who had profiled terrorist groups for the CIA, taught us about the various groups and individuals — Carlos the Jackal, Hezbollah, Osama bin Laden, Red Brigades, and others — who were behind bombings and hijackings and killings around the world. Professor Evans is still teaching at Carroll. I’m sure his terrorism classes are as interesting, and timely, as ever.
The class I took with Evans was taught in the Bohannon Science Center, an ugly building that was replaced by a parking lot when the new Dolan Science Center was built. I wrote about that in my Northern Ohio Live innovations column. I also blogged about the seismograph that was in the Bohannon foyer, the machine of one of the Jesuit priests who was an earthquake expert.
Cleveland was in the news this week, with the dramatic discovery that three young women had been held in captivity for nearly 10 years. Here in our home in North Carolina, we’ve talked about that around our dinner table, reinforcing messages of safety and trust and how to respond in moments of danger.
We’ve also talked about punishment. On the radio, we heard that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty is considering the death penalty for the perpetrator of these crimes.
I was thinking about McGinty recently. Back in 2000, I helped him edit an article that he submitted to a law journal. I used the money from that to buy a computer (made by Pony Computer, where I was working at the time on the PlanetKnowHow startup). I wrote the first few years of this blog on that computer, and I rebuilt it a few times with updated software, new hard drives and even a new motherboard and chipset. But it’s been sitting in a box in the closet for quite a while now, so I took out the hard drive and prepared it for donation. The box has been bumping around in the back of the van, and this week I’ll drop it off to to the United Way of the Greater Triangle.
Over at Medium, I’ve posted an essay about having dengue fever and what I realized last week about my role in research. Have a read: Bitten by the research bug
Most days, after I get home from work and prepare dinner for the family or clean the kitchen, then go through the bedtime routines with the children, I sit down to the glass desk in our front office at about this time (8:17 p.m. as I write this). I go through the day’s snail mail, paying the bills and tossing the crap that the banks relentlessly send, and clean a space on the desk for my laptop. But before I open that, log on and spend the next few hours reading and writing and surfing the web, I pick up this amazing gift that Josh Witten gave me at ScienceOnline2013 back in January:
Josh gave me that glass dish — it’s a work of art by science artist Michele Banks (@artologica) — to thank me for helping bootstrap the ScienceOnline community that inspired him to build his science blog into a mini network. Check it out: The Finch and Pea. I was stunned when Josh handed this to me. I’ve never had my own Petri dish, and I love to pick it up and gently cradle it. What a thoughtful and creative and memorable gift.
Some nights, I also make a pot of tea, often from a bag of green tea that Adrienne Roehrich gave me at #scio13. And there were others who bestowed kindnesses on me at the conference: Michael Lombardi gave me chocolate, Karyn Traphagen a nice bottle of wine, Marianne Alleyne brought roasted breadfruit all the way from Jamaica, Rachel Feltman found my favorite pens in NYC and brought them to me, and Mindy Weisberger made a darling mini scio13 sweater, which Anna and Oliver used to dress a Barbie one day.
I mentioned some of these kindnesses (and there were so many more, from kind words to warm embraces to hearty handshakes and countless smiles of attendees enjoying the event) in my remarks at ScienceOnline2013:
And, even now, months after the conference, I find threads back to that event. This community. These friends.
Which leads me to think that this ScienceOnline Petri dish is an apt metaphor for what, together, we have cultivated over the years. Brilliant, Josh, brilliant.
In the greater Cleveland area, my brother-in-law, Michael Shaughnessy, MD, is the go-to eye doctor if you need cataracts removed, especially for patients with difficult cases. Once, he let me sit beside him and peer into a microscope as he carefully cut into a patient’s eyeball, take out the diseased cataract, and replace it with a synthetic lens. While Mike’s hands were steady and precise, inside him parts of his heart were slowly disintegrating. In late 2011, he learned just how dire his condition was.
Just before Mike went under the surgeon’s knife himself, I helped him start a blog at ShaughnessyMD.com. We thought it might be a good outlet for him to chronicle his recovery from open-heart surgery. It’s been more than a year since then, and Mike is back to operating on 13 patients a day, and running and living life to the fullest.
I asked Mike to answer some questions about his experience as a heart patient and new blogger.
Michael, I’ve admired you since I first met you (when I was dating your little sister), and it’s an honor to introduce you to the readers of my blog. Will you please tell us about your career path. How did you get to where you are now, a highly regarded ophthalmologist with a specialty in cataract surgery? What’s happening in your field that the rest of us should know about?
Thank you for the kind words. I have had a less than the “straight arrow” path to where I am now, but it has been well worth the sidetracks. From very early in my life, I think around sixth grade, I had envisioned myself in the medical field. My grandfather was the old-school family practice doctor. He made house calls, did surgery, delivered babies, and treated a lot of kids in the neighborhood. He was an inspiration to me. When he died, while I was in eighth grade, he left his doctor’s bag for me. Later on, my grandmother passed on his microscope as well.
I started high school focused on science disciplines. I had always been pulled that way. I took all the right courses and received all the right grades. I started college at Miami University as a Microbiology major. Most Pre-med students took the path of biology, or zoology, a more direct route for the medical school admissions teams. Microbiology was a new major with exciting opportunities in molecular genetics. It allowed me a summer internship in San Diego performing genetic research for a private firm. I applied to medical school in the 1989-90 school year. It was one of the nations highest applicant years ever. After several interviews, I wasn’t accepted. Many of my friends who also suffered the same fate turned their attention to other career paths. I applied to the National Institutes of Health in Washington and got a job as a molecular biologist at the National Eye Institute. After two years of research and several papers, I reapplied to medical school, had a lot of interviews and was accepted to The Medical College of Ohio. I was considering ophthalmology, but during first year I got more focused on pediatric surgery. I was president of our pediatrics club and thought that was the direction I would go. I received excellent recommendations from some of my surgery mentors. And then I did my Ophthalmology rotation beginning of 4th year. I realized quickly that this was the career for me. It offered high-tech surgery, patient care, difficult problem solving and a fairly normal lifestyle. Patients were routinely happy after your interventions, whether it be new glasses or new vision following cataract surgery. I was hooked.
I focused on getting into a good Ophthalmology residency program and started at Case Western Reserve University. I went on to complete my fellowship in Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery at the University of Texas. I started my private practice back in Cleveland in 2002 at University Ophthalmology Associates, where I remain today. I couldn’t be more happy taking care of patients and applying my skills and knowledge for the people of Cleveland. I perform about 1000 surgeries a year, mostly cataract surgery. It is an exciting time for patients with cataracts. It is one of the most common and most successful procedures performed on the human body. People can realize improvements in their vision, often better than they’ve had their entire life. If anyone has been diagnosed and is contemplating the necessity of cataract surgery, be sure to visit an ophthalmologist experienced in all the latest technological advancements in our field.
How did you learn about your heart condition and the need for a surgical intervention? How did you choose a surgeon and then figure out the best approach to fixing your condition?
When I was a first-year medical student, I was in my cardiology class listening to my heart. We were all new at this part of the physical exam. My heartbeat had a strange flutter at the end of the beat, very loud. I was diagnosing my heart murmur. I had the professor teaching the course listen to me that day. We got an echocardiogram the next morning, and I learned that I had a bicuspid aortic valve. A call to my mom revealed that a murmur had been diagnosed at an early age, but she was told I would grow out of it. The advice now was direct: get regular echocardiograms every few years and report any symptoms. From that day on, I ran, played sports, studied hard and never had a symptom.
Twenty years and eight echocardiograms later, a new cardiologist looking at my old films and my latest films (October 2011) saw a worsening aortic valve and something suspicious with my ascending aorta. He sent me home with instructions to return in one year. Thankfully, his suspicions got the best of him and he called me the next day to suggest an MRI of my aorta. Not feeling his message to be urgent, I scheduled my MRI for my next day off four weeks later. It was a Friday; the test went fine. I was told results would be available in a few days. I was out for a five-mile run Sunday and came home to a voicemail from the cardiologist. I called back, and he told me not to run or do anything strenuous because I needed to see a heart surgeon right away. I began to feel disconnected with myself, and I hung up the phone and stared at my wife, Kathy. I am sure there was utter disbelief on my face as I tried to calmly deliver the words that I had a deadly aortic aneurysm beating in my chest.
At almost six centimeers wide, the aneurysm was of such a size that the likelihood of dissection (tearing open) and death was close to 98% without intervention. I had never missed a day of school or work in my entire life for sickness, and now I faced the ultimate danger.
I saw the recommended surgeon, Alan Markowitz, MD at University Hospitals in Cleveland. He was kind and deliberate, and I knew he cared about his results on an individual basis. I told him I was getting an opinion from the Cleveland Clinic two days later. I feverishly researched all I could that week about options, results, mortality, etc. I contacted the quality officers of both UH and the Cleveland Clinic. My interview with the Clinic doctor and the results of my quality questions all but made the choice for me; I would have my surgery with Dr. Markowitz at University Hospitals. Dr. Markowitz performs the surgery differently than the Clinic in two critical ways. First, he essentially bypasses the heart bypass machine with a catheter through the right subclavian artery, which continuously and uninterruptedly maintains flow to the brain throughout the surgery. He and others feel that this almost eliminates the possibility of intraoperative stroke. When I asked the Cleveland Clinic surgeons why they don’t do this procedure, the response was an abrupt, “We work fast.” And, Dr. Markowitz offered me the Freestyle aortic valve, a pure porcine valve without manmade struts or attachments. It is very similar to the innate human valve. Longevity has yet to be determined, but some of Dr. Markowitz’s former patients are 14 years out from their surgeries. The Clinic offered me the St. Jude valve, a biosynthetic valve made of artificial and porcine parts, very unlike the innate human valve. It has been around for more than 30 years, and the stats show a longevity of 7-10 years. I was 43 years old.
I know you to be a creative, generous and hyper-competitive individual with a really soft spot for your friends and family. What was your strategy for recovering from open-heart surgery? Where did you find the strength to bounce back so quickly and with such determination?
I freely admit that I entered this surgery without a plan. I knew that I would fight hard for my family, but I was as scared as anything I’d ever faced. Your idea of the blog was definitely an inspirational tool going in that weekend before the Monday morning surgery. Being a doctor was probably a weakness, because I knew that even straightforward cases don’t always work out as planned. Having my family and friends around me that morning was as motivational as you can get. My strength following surgery came from those loved ones who wanted to see me succeed and from areas of my life that I didn’t expect. As soon as that first day after surgery, my wife, Kathy, an occupational therapist, had me walking the halls of the hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit. She was my Chief Operating Officer who put me to work in those first few critical weeks when failures might have gotten the best of me.
What was the lowest moment? What was the most triumphant?
I feel like I had many low moments in the process of this surgery. My lowest might have been the night before surgery. I was very worried that this would be the last time I saw my family, my children. I wrote them farewell letters just in case. These hours were the hardest of my life. I drifted in and out of sleep that night before, wondering about my future; how had I come to this. As I said goodbye to my wife and rolled down the hall to surgery, I don’t think I have ever felt more frightened and lonely and desperate.
The triumphs came in all sizes. Waking up from surgery and realizing that I was alive ranks pretty high. I certainly didn’t expect to run down the hallway, but I was in a LOT of pain. Eating my first bite of food and walking without help were little victories. Stepping out of my house for a run four weeks after surgery was definitely a success. (It wasn’t really a run from an outsiders view, but I was racing through the winter wind in my heart). Making it to my buddies’ golf outing in Florida three months to the day after the surgery was a HUGE goal in my early recovery. I played pretty bad golf, but it was a great success anyway. In June 2012, I ran about five miles with my brother, Dan, in Hilton Head; just six months after surgery. That was a definite high point. I have run several races since my surgery, finishing in the top 10% in all of them. My running and fitness has become my most powerful motivator.
How are you living differently because of what you’ve been through?
As I have been alluding to, physical fitness has become by biggest change since surgery. I always enjoyed working out, playing sports, and doing whatever I wanted to do. When the surgery took all that away from me and I felt weak and fragile, running became my source of strength. A few friends kept me motivated as I increased my speed and miles. I needed no gym or trainer or special equipment. I ran for me. In the past,I ran simply to stay fit. Now I run to live. My heart was reborn on 12/5/2011 and I challenge myself daily to cherish that the big and little moments are not guaranteed.
You used a blog at shaughnessymd.com to chronicle your recovery. What did you learn in the process of sharing your experience online? In what ways has this changed the way you think as a physician? How will it change the way you help patients communicate and comprehend their own experiences?
The blog was an amazing tool for sharing information to those around me, but it also was a mirror for me to discover and research those feelings of uncertainty and exhilaration on a daily basis. I have shared both my site and the idea of doing it with patients, with very positive responses. I think we all could use this tool, even if you blogged privately for yourself to chronicle the uncertain road of illness. As I wrote in one of my posts, the hardest part of recovery for me was letting go of my own control and letting others be part of the process. The blog definitely allowed me to realize that even on the loneliest of days I was never alone.
Who are some of the people – family, friends, mentors or colleagues – who have molded you, and what are some of the lessons they taught you?
This question could take a book itself to answer. How can we define who we are by a short list of people? I am often moved to change a habit or thought by someone I hardly know. My father and mother, my family, my teachers and students, so many mentors and colleagues have all contributed greatly to the doctor and man I am today. I try to live the path of challenge and intellectual curiosity, to take some risks but protect my most cherished values. I hope to learn from those around me, but question constantly those around me. I hope to never be satisfied.
What’s your proudest achievement to date? What do you still hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
My proudest moment to date is to be able to tell my story with sound mind and body. There is no value to place on my life. I would surely give up all my accolades, diplomas, monies, and more to be able to embrace my wife and children. Being here for them has meant more than any other sacrifice or struggle I could have gone through. I hope to see my children succeed in their own right, to follow their own path. I hope to continue building a successful practice in the face of an uncertain health field. I plan to ride in a 100-mile bike race in August this year. I don’t think it would have entered my mind prior to surgery. I hope to see tomorrow as optimistically as I see today.
Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
I would hope no one has to face their own mortality in such a direct and terrifying manner, but if any readers are or do in the future, my advice is to take a deep breath and dive forward. There will be no solace in feeling sorry for yourself. I realized very early on that there was nothing I could do to undo what nature had done to me. There was no place in my recovery for pity. It was very hard work and I am not looking forward to the possibility that I might have to start all over again, but I won’t feel sorry for myself. Test your limits; we may never reach them.
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