“We are US…A Healthcare Marathon Finish” by Dianne H. Timmering

It’s a year later and I still reflect on my time in the race. The race for what—healthcare’s idiosyncrasies of uncertainty, day to day where one word from Washington, whether it becomes regulatory discretionary review or legislative speculation still rings with resonance of possible impact shuttering those it impacts the most— the impoverished, the elderly, the disabled, the rich, the poor, the hopeless—you see everyone has their own healthcare story because I suppose any one rich, or even moderately so, could suddenly be poor if they encountered the worse that could happen in the navel of unscripted sickness.

But that is not what this blog is about. It’s about finishing the race—the New York marathon of 26.2 miles I mean, just, and I mean just under 6 hours—a miracle of sorts for someone who trained with a little bit of a little. —I hate to run, I mean I really do, but the little bit of practice that my mind would allow me to have, combined with the larger aggravated power of hot yoga gave me the breath and endurance of muscle and brain-conditioning to make it through.

Well that isn’t exactly the truth–because we had a plan, a cause, and a mental superpower called PUSH. It was my colleague who said we run 11 minutes and walk 3, run 11, walk 3, pace ourselves—never to deter, never NEVER to veer from this strategic plan—and he was right. And it was the people of New York city—the #Brooklyners, and the #Manhattanites, and the #Queenstown folks, and the precious child who handed us that slice of banana in the #Bronx for so much needed potassium, and the women along the 23rd mile who said did we need a chip with salt as music selection slid into our ears goading us on, fighting for us, pointing us toward the finish, as it seemed like every new Yorker was—those beautiful incredible amazing “citizens” and immigrants who they are—loving, pushing for a good finish. Americans all of them, no matter their legendary heritage, in melting pot fashion of hope—for we are a hopeful nation, rugged individualists. We can’t help ourselves—it is who we are. US.

  1. US. Us — the U.S.—the United States of America.

We are… US.

I finished—with 6 of my professional colleagues who inspired me every day in their deeper commitment to training than what I was willing to do—, knowing in the end, hoping, that I would fight no matter what even if I had to crawl across the finish line. Which is what my colleague and I almost did—he had a busted tendon and I just tired out—my muscles and his clenching up, believe it or not, 800 meters from the finish line. 800 meters was like running the whole 26.2 miles all over again. But we fought through it and we pushed and we pounded to get there—and we crossed that evasive — where are you!? –— line.

I suppose it’s like anything, or any “deal” worth finishing—business, civic, political or otherwise—as my colleague always says—it’s the last 5 yards. And it was the last five yards—and it seems there are no exceptions to this rule.

In healthcare, with its upside down uncertainty, the race is longer, I am finding out, even beyond the 5 yards. But many of the current healthcare business “deals” to try to even conceive of a future are at the 5 yard line— and even then that is only a new start.

But the good kind of one.

NOW, today, we have a chance to finish more than a marathon but re-create a brave new world of healthcare, and in our case long-term-care for the in-coming magnificent barrage of the aged and elderly, those who were conceived after the worst of times of WWII, who became the best of times, the best creations of life, to refill the “slots” of so many lost. But again life comes and it goes, and there is death, but there is also rebirth and they deserve what “US” can give them. They deserve our marathon finish, so that we can give them theirs.

So, if we can get the muscles moving right, the knees to cooperate, the insoles inside the shoes to stay put, the jellies, powders, and goopy proteins, combined with the rigor of a strategic plan, tenacity, ferocity, a little bit of blood, and a molecule of faith, we can finish any race, any deal, anything; and I mean anything. Let us finish the race…., so a new one can begin.

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA

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