“The minute you think of giving up, think of the reason why you held on so long”
For the last month or so I have started doing this blog every week. I usually plan ahead and think about what I want to write about. This week I had several things in mind but after an email I received today, I decided not to go with any of them. One of my very best friends has a sister who is 37 and fighting a tough battle with breast cancer. Reading her email today and hearing about the pain her whole family is in is heartbreaking. In March of this year, my mother in law passed away after a long fought battle with uterine cancer. She was 59 and one of the sweetest women I have ever known. I honestly don’t think that in her 18 month battle that I ever heard her complain. I have also recently been reading about a high school classmate of mine whose two year old is battling a cancerous brain tumor and has settled in for a minimum of two years at St Jude’s in Memphis.
In a few days I will also wake up in Memphis and I will head out for the St Jude’s marathon. It’s the third time I’ve done it and every year I am in awe at all of the stories, the survivors, the parents of these children, and all of their amazing strength. Even after all of these years and a whole lot of marathons, I still get nervous every single time. For the last week I have complained, stressed, and obsessed about the frigid 19 degree temperatures that will be happening in Memphis that day. Today I finally thought to myself… Complain? Really? You’re running a marathon to raise money for kids with cancer Stephanie. Get a grip! They have endured much worse! So I may be shivering at the beginning and I may be a human popsicle at the end, but I won’t be complaining anymore.
Cancer has affected so many people’s lives. Whether it is a friend, a family member or even a co-worker, we have probably all witnessed or experienced the physical and emotional pain cancer can cause. One thing I love about running (and all of the different races around this country that raise money) is the strength we all have when we pull together as a running/fitness community. The money and awareness that the St Jude’s Marathons and hundreds of other races around the country have raised for cancer research and cancer patients is amazing.
One of the things I love about working with Sport Seasons is that the people there also see the bigger picture. For them I can help represent more than just good running shoes and the latest gear. I can help spread the message of how one person, one store, or one community can make a difference. I mean for an average girl like myself, what better way could I be a part of raising money for such an important cause like St. Jude’s other than running? I’m not a singer, an actor, or a talent of any kind, but I am a runner and there is power in that. For the first time this year I am running as a St. Jude’s Hero, which means I signed up to raise money for the hospital. I was so overwhelmed at the amount of support I received from friends, family, and even two local businesses, Finezza Italian Bistro and Sport Seasons. It definitely made me want to aim even higher next year!
I’ve mentioned before that I believe that running is mind over matter. I strongly feel that the emotional power behind a personal motivation to run is a skill that cannot be
taught. It is inspiration, and inspiration comes from within. The New Year is right around the corner. If fitness goals are part of your new year’s resolutions, consider running a race that benefits a cause you are passionate about. Sometimes we need all of the motivation we can get!
This weekend will be the coldest marathon I have ever run. So stay tuned…..when I thaw out I will be able to share my experience!