"You can walk straight through hell with a smile"


One of the songs that's made its way onto most of my running playlists is "Hall of Fame" by The Script. These lines - "You can go the distance, you can run the mile. You can walk straight through hell with a smile" - resonated for me in the last four weeks as I began my post-surgery recovery.


As regular readers know, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and on July 1, 2022 had a radical prostatectomy. On June 30th, I ended a 777-day running streak, but within a few hours after my surgery I was up, walking around and doing laps around the nurse's station at NYU Langone in Mineola. I logged more than a half-mile before allowing them to re-hook the IVs and continue their poking and prodding every ten minutes throughout the night.


My doctor forbid me from swimming, biking and running for 4-6 weeks, but encouraged walking. My daily runs became daily walks and during the month of July, I logged 118.22 miles. That took me just over 35 hours and I burned 13,000 calories.


The health benefits of walking are well established and while I still prefer running, the change of pace meant more time thinking, reflecting, listening to podcasts (Tim Ferris, Brene Brown and Stephen Dubner are favorites), talking with Jillian who sometimes joined me, and experiencing nature. I noticed things I hadn't seen before - bees on flowers, trees losing leaves thanks to the lack of rain, circling hawks, the warm breeze.


I'm anxious to get running again, but looking back now, thankful for the forced slowdown.