“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”
Richard O’Brien, runner
I remember what it was like. I remember the phone call, and my parents whispering upstairs about what it all meant. I remember when they came and told me. I remember getting cleaned up from my run that day thinking that cancer was something that people survived all the time. I remember going to my computer and researching pancreatic cancer. I remember the voice in head saying this didn’t look so good.
I try not to show what I’m thinking to my parents all of the time. It’s how I got mom through my Dad’s stroke when we were in the emergency room. It’s how I made it through my Uncle’s cancer diagnosis and surgery. Some one needs to keep things together. I’m “that” person.
I remember checking my phone on every break I had during a training class I had the day of my Uncle’s surgery. I remember the feeling of relief when my Dad called at lunch to say he had survived. I remember my Aunt’s tearful phone call two days later, there were complications, and he was going back into surgery. I remember lots of details from those three weeks. I remember the feeling of wanting to something, anything to help. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. And then my friend told me she had signed up for the San Antonio rock-n-roll Marathon. I had just finished my first marathon a few months before. I went and looked at the website. I kept going back and looking at the charities. There it was, all in purple. Team in Training. And then came the phone call. There are two things I remember about that day, stopping to get a chocolate cake on the way home to try to cheer everyone up, & filling out a form to attend a Team in Training information session. Four days after my Uncle’s death I sat in a room filling out paper work and trying not to sob as I listened to Tommy Owens tell his story. I almost ran out of the room because I couldn’t take it. It had only been four days. But I stayed, and with every step I took, and every dollar I raised I was telling cancer it wasn’t going to win. It couldn’t keep visiting my family and expect me to do nothing.
Since that day in July 2008 I’ve run 3 of my 5 marathons with Team in Training (2008 San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon, 2009 Nike Women’s Marathon, and the 2010 Chicago Marathon), and raised $10,000. There are many charities I could have chosen, but I picked Team. I can see where the money is going and how it makes a difference. I have friends alive today because of the money raised by Team in Training participants for cancer research. We will not give up until we beat cancer.
This week, Team in Training is paint the social media world purple. It’s a chance to honor and remember those who have fought. To find out more about the Team in Training program you can go to their website and join us as we paint the web purple!