By Kate Abbott
I didn’t know it at the time, but my writing was born on the night I nearly died. Maybe born is too strong a word but let’s just say I was incentivized by the horror. Not the horror of what actually happened, but by what could have happened.
I am an ordinary mother. I don’t suffer from any health issues, well except for my obsession with running, and my kids, thankfully, are well adjusted, at least most days. I try my best to make my sons’ lives extraordinary and normal at the same time.
It started with a fifth grade science fair project. After procrastinating to the last possible moment, my eldest came up with his concept: sleep deprivation. He planned to keep his father up all night and take notes on whether there were hallucinations. The only wrinkle: dad was out of the country until after the project was due. No matter, I told my son, mom can step in. I had an ulterior motive. In a moment of madness known to afflict runners during post-race bliss, I had signed up for a 100 mile race. This necessarily meant that I would be running, or if not running at least hopefully moving forward, for probably 36 hours. An overnight training run was strongly recommended.
And that was why I was outside in the rain as Friday night turned into Saturday morning. I was doing various loops around the neighborhood, checking in every 45 minutes to have my mental status assessed by my son, who was playing video games. The idea was to compare the effects of sleep deprivation on a subject who was engaging in physical exercise with that of one who was engaging in a mental activity. He’d compiled a list of math problems that we would do. Continue Reading…