Day 87: A kidney transplant cured my man flu

Share your goals with your loved ones. Let them inspire you regularly.

There’s a big run in Copenhagen tomorrow: the half marathon world championships. In addition to the elite, 30.000 runners will participate. But I didn’t enter.

I wanted to, but I waited for too long: many weeks before the race, it was fully booked. Oh well, I said to myself and forgot all about it.

Until this week. This week has been cold here, and every one of us has come down with a cold as well. Runny noses, coughing, headache, you know how it is. One day I laid down on the couch to close my eyes for a little bit and ended up sleeping for three hours. The day before I fell asleep on the floor. A serious case of man flu.

Yesterday, when I ventured outside for the first time in days, a neighbour asked me about the race. You’re running, right? I told him I had a man flu, with severe symptoms, and that my wife and both of the older kids had some kind of cold as well, so no, I didn’t think I should. Besides, it’s full, right?

He sympathized with me, he is a man after all, but he also said that this kind of event will never happen again anywhere close to here. A world championship! 30.000 runners! Not even a man flu should stop you from joining in. And besides, I know someone who’s not running after all…

I coughed. I complained about my Achilles. I told him about my yearly allergies, my sneezing and runny nose. Ehm, I said, I don’t think that I can. My doctor would probably advice me against it.

You really should, my neighbour said. I’ll ask my friend.

I didn’t hear anything yesterday. I picked up the boys from school (the oldest; the youngest was at home, coughing and sneezing), I didn’t hear anything. We had dinner, I didn’t hear anything. Oh well, I told myself, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. Perhaps I’d better just be a spectator. I do have a man flu, after all.

Then someone knocked on the door. It was a woman, around my mother’s age, and she had a bib number in her hand. Here, she said, and gave it to me.

Oh, I said. Thanks. Thanks, but (cough cough) I don’t know…

It’s OK, my brother-in-law can’t run anyway, he’s in the hospital.

Really? Is he alright?

He’s fine. It’s just that his son needed a kidney, you see, and you can’t plan when things like that happen, and it happened now. He wanted to run anyway, but the doctors wouldn’t let him. He told me to find someone else who could take his place.

Oh. How much do you sell it for?

Nothing, nothing.


Yes. Just enjoy the race!

I will. I will.

As I closed the door, my kids asked me who that woman was, and why she gave me a paper with a number on it, and why she was talking about a guy in the hospital, and what a kidney is, and what race, and and and.

She was talking about a man who has never had a man flu in his life, I said. The race is a half marathon tomorrow. Be sure to cheer me on.

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