Running over life's challenges

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jessica McConnell
  • 5th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A resolution can be described as a goal, or goals made by a person, normally on the first of the new year, to change something about the way they live.

Some resolutions might be as simple as eating breakfast everyday, or making sure to call extended family more often. But for some, making a resolution means more than just making one small change for a few months; it's about making a life-changing commitment.

Tech. Sgt. Eddie Neher, a 741st Missile Squadron missile facility manager, is signed up for a running event this year, despite being diagnosed recently with two different health conditions . The first being fibromyalgia.

"This condition is defined as a chronic widespread, debilitating disease which often manifests as diffuse pain, constant muscle aches and overwhelming fatigue," Sergeant Neher said. "There is no cure, it causes memory issues, and doctors don't know the cause. Basically, it always feels like I have the flu; my muscles are always very weak."

Sergeant Neher also suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, which he summarized as a condition leaving him with muscle weakness, always fatigued and having problems with digestion.

"Between the both of these issues, I have to work twice as hard to accomplish what I do," he said.

Many would take this news as a reason to give up. Why fight something doctors can't fully explain? But Sergeant Neher isn't that type of a person. He said he sees this as an opportunity to challenge himself for the better.

"My New Year's resolution is to compete in this year's marathon in Fargo, N.D., called the Go Far Challenge," he said. "This challenge is comprised of two days of running. The first day I will be running a 5K, the next day, I'm running a half marathon."

Sergeant Neher recognizes that this event is going to be hard, but said that was one of the reasons why he signed up for it.

"I wanted to challenge myself like I have never challenged myself before," he said. "I figured that by training for this event, it would help me in more ways than one, like improve my fitness score, as well as my overall health."

Instead of sitting back hoping for things to get better, he used his recent diagnosis as motivation to take matters into his own hands.

"I made this my New Year's resolution because I needed to do something to change my life around," he said. "I needed to prove to myself that no matter what, I could still do it. I wanted to better my health, as I know I'm the only one who can help myself."

Sergeant Neher is working hard for his family, the Air Force and to improve his overall health, but it doesn't stop there.

"I was motivated to make this change to show others that if I can do it, even with all of my medical conditions, anyone can do it," he said. "I'm not going to let these medical conditions get the best of me."

Sergeant Neher said his motivation also comes from the support of his wife, who also has fibromyalgia, and children, who are behind him every step of the way.

"We are a family and we stick by each other," said Vanessa Neher, Sergeant Neher's wife. "His life is our life and vice versa. We take our problems one step at a time and learn to overcome and defeat them. He inspires me every day."

For those having a hard time keeping their New Year's resolution, or struggling to overcome any other life obstacle, Sergeant Neher said he hopes his experience will motivate and inspire individuals to never give up.

"Everyone has a choice," he said. "People can sit back and not do anything and just suffer, or people can push themselves to enjoy the things they love and live life to the fullest. If there's ever a day one falls and feels like giving up, they need to get back up and keep going; don't ever quit. Accomplish the goals that were set."