Aug. 25, 2022

FOR WOMEN ONLY.

MENOPAUSE is a medical condition that has been seriously-mis-named-- since it has absolutely-nothing to do with MEN!

The condition is described as---The End of Femininity, The Death of Youth, The Loss of Sexual Desire---dramatic headlines that cause dread in forty and fifty year-old-women, every day. When undeniable symptoms strike, some women are so fearful, they put everyday living--- on hold.

Age never dictated my agenda and birthdays are just another day so-- imagine my surprise when a Houston doctor focused on my age during my last routine physical before beginning my Great Wall Adventure.  He kept repeating the number, 49, trying to remind me of my age.  Then, very slowly, as if speaking to a child, he said “You are menopausal.  I want to prepare you for almost-certain physical discomforts like--bloating, night sweats, fatigue, heart palpitations, mood swings, insomnia, and sexual apathy.  Some-- if not all-- these symptoms will be present for quite some time.”   Aware I was leaving for China in three days, the medical expert added: “You won’t have access to medical assistance on your Great Wall journey and you could face some life-threatening health issues. As your doctor, I am advising you to postpone your China trip for another two years.”

Five months later, I wrote this in my journal: “Today was a very-hot day. The sun was directly-overhead forever and-- after spending the morning in a constant run/walk for almost 23 miles--I took a much-needed break. Swallowing my daily estrogen tablet—America’s latest miracle drug for menopausal women--I reflected on the Houston doctor’s advice and decided to add a message to him---in my journal:  

“Dear Doctor--- I wish you could see me now, averaging 35 miles every day--on foot--over some of Asia’s most difficult mountain ranges while carrying about 30 pounds of supplies,  I’m sorry to disappoint you but---so far---I haven’t had one symptom of menopause. I hope you’ll share this information with all your friends in the medical profession.  I also suggest you tell other Doctors to stop scaring women about Menopause.  Rather than pills, bed rest, and warnings---Medical Doctors should prescribe exercise—vitamins—estrogen-- if necessary-- but most importantly--Doctors should encourage women to stay strong-- to believe in themselves-- and to never under-estimate their abilities.  If not for you, I would never have known-- I was menopausal."

Two years before starting my GREAT WALL JOURNEY-- my daily life in Houston, Texas--- consisted of an intense training program.  Every day, I ran 12 miles in Houston’s heat and humidity while three days a week, I trained in Rice University’s weight room. My work-outs were supervised and monitored by a team of football coaches and physical fitness experts.  I felt completely- confident in my ability to travel “ALL THE WALL” and NEVER ONCE--- considered My Doctor’s warning to postpone the most-memorable-adventure-of-my-lifetime.

After traveling the length of The Great Wall of China, I’m completely confident in every woman’s ability-- regardless of age-- to accomplish dreams, reach goals, and achieve greatness.  It’s only when we allow others to limit us-- we limit ourselves.