32

It's been an interesting year. The first birthday-to-birthday period since I was 26 that I didn't complete a marathon. Posted some of my worst times last fall and this winter, due to injuries mostly. And then there's my head, both the skull fracture and the stuff going on inside it.

I won't go too far into it, because you know already, but as jarring as it has been to realize these things are true, it's helpful to understand that the way I've occasionally felt for the last sixteen years hasn't made me bad or broken.

And speaking of my brain, in this past year I got into school again, something that wouldn't even have excited me years ago. But I'm going to go back, I'm going to do my own original research, and, many years hence, I will truly be an expert.

Frankly, one thing that has made this feel better is realizing how much I've managed to do with what is a form of disability. I'm no hero, but on birthday 32, I think I can feel a little proud of how hard I have tried to improve with this weight around my ankles. I will reach my fastest speed again, I will excel at my new degree, and all these years when I was confused why I felt the way I did will just recede into the past.

Marathon training begins next week. But first, a vacation, and even before that, MOAR CUPCAKES.

Seeing how dangerous these diseases truly are, every day I move along is a day to be proud of, and I will continue to tell myself that.

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Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality