A good analogy for having cystic fibrosis is that it’s like being a running back on a football team. You have to be fearless. You take brutal hit after brutal hit, and every time your number is called, you know that the other team’s only objective is to pummel you as hard as they can. The football is your positive attitude and love of life, and the last thing you wanna do is fumble it. All cystic fibrosis wants to do is strip it from your arms. The medications and machines will be your blockers, sure, but you have the football and it will only advance as far as you take it. Some days you may only get back to the line of scrimmage, but most days you can move the chains simply by not complaining, and going about your CF treatments with joy.
The best running backs are always great in one statistic – yards after contact. Nothing can bring them down, just like nothing can bring people with CF down. Nebulizer treatments and vest four times a day? Nope. Hospital stays, lung infections, and PICC lines? Psshhh, please. Hundreds of pills, insulin shots, coughing fits, and the looming thought of a double lung transplant in the future? We are bigger than all that.
I have a huge sports crush on Marshawn Lynch because of his running style. He is known as “Beast Mode” because he is so hard to tackle. The touchdown run above has been called one of the greatest in NFL history (sorry, Saints fans), precisely because it was in the playoffs and he ran through so many tacklers, so many things that were trying to bring him down. When CF tries to beat you down physically and emotionally, you have to remember to protect that football and keep driving your legs forward. Bear in mind that if you stay in “beast mode” eventually you will reach the end zone, and at the end of your life the people who knew you will say that you had one of the greatest, most inspiring runs they’ve ever seen.