Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Do You Run? - Quite The Loaded Question!

I run with the Lung Cancer Alliances’s Team Lung Love. We have a page on Facebook where the question “Why do you run?” was posed. A few fellow runners posted their stories and one said, “Beth, tell your story.” So I did. Unbeknownst to me my FB friends could actually see this post and one commented she couldn’t like my post but wanted me to know she appreciated my authenticity and admired the power I had chosen to have in my life.


That got me to thinking. Generally I’m a pretty introverted person, I know how weird for someone like that to have a blog and a FB page. Sometimes I have something I need to say out loud and these are perfect vehicles. I still feel like I am under a bit on anonymity because no one is seeing me say what I want to say. I know, I know it is sort of weird. Then again I like to write so maybe that is a characteristic of a writer or a story teller?

I will share with you my post:

Why do you run? This is why I run.

In August of 2007 my mother called, it was a Thursday. She never calls, unless it is bad news. She announced she had Cancer, Lung Cancer. I honestly cannot say the news of Cancer surprised me. This is what happens to the women in my family. They get Cancer, then they die.

My mom's mom passed away from Breast Cancer in July 1976, she was 57 years old. She was 4 years diagnosis to death. (all but one of her 7 sisters has passed from Cancer)

My dad's mom passed away from Ovarian Cancer in November 1987, she was 69. She was 3 years from diagnosis to death. Her mother died from Ovarian Cancer April 1935, she was 46.

Cancer has been in my life since I was 6 when my mom's mom was first diagnosed. It has been an unfortunate fact of life.

It was that “die from Cancer” that got me. My mom was going to die.

I started running in January of 2010, I was 42, fat, out of shape, and had been informed 3 months earlier I was on a lay off wave. The positive was my mother was still alive, and had progressed wonderfully through chemo therapy and radiation, in fact the tumor had stopped any activity. So then, why was I slowly killing myself?

I didn't take immediately to running, Couch to 5K in 2010, led to 1 5k and 1 3.6 mile trail race. My time was abysmal in both. In the spring of 2011, my father forwarded me an eMail. Lung Cancer Alliance Team Lung Love, an endurance team running ½ and full marathons to raise funds and awareness for Lung Cancer. Well, I could get behind this. How long was a half marathon 13.1 miles? I could run three why on earth couldn't I run / walk 13.1. I signed up, for the Cox Providence Rhode Race to be run May of 2011.  I haphazardly trained and crossed the finish line, in pain, hungry, and exhausted, 3 hours and 17 minutes after I started.

I vowed to actually run that damn thing next year (2012). I wasn't going to be conquered by a half marathon, my mom wasn't conquered by Lung Cancer, damn it.

So why do I run? I run for my mom, for Lung Cancer, and for those who can’t. I run because I can, because half way through training for the 2nd ½ marathon I fell in love with running and signed up to run with Team Lung Love in the Marine Corps Marathon in October of 2012, and will be running MCM again in 2013.

And as I am typing and editing this my mother (now over 5 year Lung Cancer survivor) called to let me know my cousin gave birth to her son and nearly died during childbirth. The nurse reported that she has seen cases of hemorrhaging much less severe take the mother's life.

And from this my take away is, my mother's generation and my generation are going to beat all the odds. I'll run and my cousin will be the best damn mother on the planet (well besides my own).

And that dear reader, is why I run.

Why do you run?

Sincerely,
Beth, running since 2010!

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