By Richard Cordova III
August 25, 2010
Alright, so here we go. My name is Richard Cordova and I'm a blogger. Well I am now technically anyways. I've never written a blog before so I'm not entirely sure how this is all going to turn out. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained right? Right?
First off a little about me. I am 32 years old and I reside in the fabulous city of Chicago, IL. I have been HIV positive for over eight years. I can't remember the exact date because, well, I was pretty strung out on Crystal Meth at the time. I'll get more into that later!
I am a health educator at the Center on Halsted, which is a GLBTQA Community Center here in the City. Also, I am a long distance running coach for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's endurance training program, Team to End AIDS, and I teach Spin classes at a local gym here in Chicago. I have run six marathons, with my most recent one in San Diego, CA this past July with a personal best of 3:27:57 (that's basically 3 hours 28 minutes for those non-runners who could care less about the seconds). I also just completed my third 200 mile charity bike ride in July of this year. The Ride for AIDS benefitting Test Positive Aware Network is a local charity bike ride that raises money to support peer led prevention services, support groups, counseling, and much more. This year's Ride was super special because this year I had a team, aptly named "Richard's Riders". There were 25 of us total and combined we raised over $39,000! I couldn't have been more pleased with the success of this year's Ride, although it sets the bar pretty high for next year, so I'm already making plans for next year's team (anyone in Chicago who is interested let me know).
I was told that this first blog entry should basically give you (the reader) an idea of what to expect should you choose to take a peek into my world in the future. That being said, first and foremost, I am someone who tries (for the most part) to maintain a healthy positive attitude. A healthy positive attitude towards myself, my disease, those around me, and the world I live in. Of course, it's easy to keep a positive attitude when the going's easy but it's when the going's a little (or a lot!) rough that the real challenges begin. Five years ago, I was a daily Crystal Meth user, pack a day smoker, didn't exercise and was having sex with multiple partners. When I did eat it wasn't natural, whole unprocessed foods that helped fuel my body and my immune system.
As this blog progresses, my goal is to share my story, to tell my tale and in the hopes that even just one person will learn from my mistakes and make smarter choices for themselves. Also, my hope is that for many, my story will serve as hope. The hope that unhealthy life choices such as drug addiction (cigarettes and alcohol are included in that) and the behaviors that surround them can be overcome.
This blog is also a place for me to say "Yes I am HIV positive and I'm OK with it". I don't think that we have enough people who are positive and who are comfortable with being positive. Sure we have advertisements for HIV medications telling us that you can live a full and active life with HIV but I want more than that. I want to show that someone living with HIV/AIDS can be OK not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually.
Having read through the other bloggers' posts on this site, I realize I am among an amazing group of people. Their stories among other things show courage, tenacity, and overall triumph of the human spirit. I am honored, blessed, grateful, and excited to be given the chance to be a part of this online community. I look forward to reading your input and I will endeavor to be receptive to all your comments, both positive and negative. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Richard finds a positive attitude and a sense of humor to be two of his most powerful weapons in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Richard is the Director of Athletic Events at TPAN, and teaches Spinning classes at a local gym in Chicago. He also answers questions on TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on Safe Sex and HIV Prevention.
He enjoys talking about himself in the third person (on occasions like these) and finding new and exciting ways to be healthier physically, emotionally, and spiritually. He has been living with HIV since 2002. Diagnosed with 123 T-cells, he is technically by government standards not HIV positive, but in fact a person living with AIDS. To that he says HA!
Subscribe to Richard's Blog:
February 15, 2013 - It's Getting HOT(TER) in Here! A Blog Entry by Richard Cordova
September 20, 2012 - Of Lessons Learned: My Day(s) With HIV -- A Blog Entry by Richard Cordova
March 30, 2012 - Why I Ride
December 1, 2011 - Till the Fat Lady Sings: A Blog Entry by Richard Cordova
November 23, 2011 - A Year-Round Affair: A Blog Entry by Richard Cordova
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