Wasatch Back Stories: Adam’s Story

Quebec HMMy name is Adam Silverstein, I’m 27 from North Las Vegas, Nevada and am proud to be Runner 3 for Team 97, Ragnar MizFitz, for the 2013 Ragnar Wasatch Back. This is my sixth Ragnar, my second Wasatch Back, and is on the heels of finishing 2013 Ragnar Niagara just one week ago. I used to run because I could. Now I run because everyone, including my own body, tells me I can’t.

On August 29, 2012, after two months of worsening muscle weakness in my eyes, face, neck and arms, I was officially diagnosed with an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder called Myasthenia Gravis. In short, my body’s immune system is attacking the acetylcholine receptors in my muscles, preventing them from properly contracting and causing weakness and fatigue, sometimes because of overuse, sometimes because of stress, environmental changes, infections, etc., and sometimes for seemingly no discernible reason whatsoever. And while there is no known cure, I am currently undergoing several treatments, including an oral medication I take 3 to 5 times daily and an IV therapy I receive every other week. And while there’s no guarantee, the possibility exists that I could go into a period of remission when the disease seemingly lies dormant within my body, but could flare up without warning at any point.

Some days, I’m fortunate enough to be able to chew more than bite or two of food at a time. Other days, I’m happy not feeling like 50-lb. weights are hanging from my eyelids. Sometimes I get to look forward to a moment of clarity, when I can take off the eye patch that’s become a permanent part of my wardrobe, and can actually focus on a single image. And occasionally, it takes every ounce of energy I possess to consciously take in each and every breath. All of this added together makes it difficult, if not impossible, to run. I may wake up on Friday feeling the strongest I’ve felt in nearly a year, or I may find myself lucky if I’m able to put one foot in front of the other through 19.4 miles. But I will push forward, I will fight back and I will refuse to let the disease win.

I choose to run, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. 





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