It’s now less than one week to race day and there’s a lot I have to do. For one, I need to finish unpacking and doing regular household chores left and/or created since I returned from San Diego. The cat seems is also sick again so the fun of pet worries abound. Joy. Also, poor kitty!
Some of you are waiting for race reports from Portland and San Diego. Yes, I PR’d both events and was extremely joyful about both experiences. I learned a few things about myself in the process!
Last night, however, I realized I wanted to talk about something else today. I was doing laundry so i would be able to actually run when I want to make the effort. (all my running bottoms and bras were dirty) As sometimes happens I found the drawer full of running gear a bit overflowing and made the time to sort through singlets, shorts & self wicking socks to remove the winter gear into storage. I also moved a growing stack of memories to the side. Bittersweet memories running through my mind that brought up thoughts of 7am mission moments that moved me to tears as I learned of how cancer changed a child’s life from one of playgrounds and hopscotch to chemo and blood counts. Thoughts of heart wrenching emails from afar describing the pain and loneliness of undergoing clinical trials. Memories of the smiles and laughter of loved ones taken by cancer. But mostly it brought back thoughts of how much cancer affects all of us and how far we are from eradicating these diseases. It brought home how often the word comes up every week without a reference to the word “Cure”.
When I say the drawer overfloweth, I’m not joking. The only thing that gets folded is socks so that I can grab a pair quickly and go. Everything else is a jumble since what I plan to use is mood and weather dependant. (Because, you know, Snow in April…). I pulled these memories out of the drawer and neatly folded them for the shelf. I thought of each of these lovely people added to my jersey hours before race time. Each served as an inspiration to me not just on race day, but the entire time I’ve known them. Liz and Sweetie were the first one. My first race, my first half marathon my original inspriations. Two beautiful women who inspire me to be more. Sadly one was taken by Thyroid Cancer, but the other lives with a Joie de Vivre that serves as an inspiration to others around her. Six months later Liz told me about her friend My Tam who was beginning her battle. A beautiful woman with a love for words and creator of delectible image and dishes, she is also thankfully beating her cancer. CURE! is a word that can be applicable to her life. JOY! is another applicable word as it always seems she lives her life filled with it. Another six months passed and my aunt was taken from me. Darline was a beautiful person in life who taught her kids to live with joy. Lung Cancer was the villian that took her too soon. Cheri has been the latest. her name adorned my jersey in “Sunny” San Diego a few short weeks ago. And I say Sunny tounge in cheeck because there seemed to have been a perpetual cloud our entire weekend there. Only to disappear shortly after we flew out. Normally I’d say “What the hell?” but really it helped. I digress though. Cheri I met a few years ago. Like many of my other inspirations, she was full of joy and an eagerness to learn and experience. No small feat given that she was french. Cheri was the mother of a friend of mine and it was shocking to see what cancer did to her. I can say I wish I had spent more time with her, I wish I had known her better, but the truth is that she was put into my life at the exact moment I needed her. I thought about her a lot in San Diego….
Race day, as I said, is now upon us. Emails fly back and forth between my friends and I as we coordinate race day details. Where to meet, who’s carpooling with who and such. It’s a crazy time of chaos which leads me to thoughts of that bottom jersey. It’s blank because I haven’t chosen my inspiration yet. it’s not a methodical choice, nor is it instant. It’s just one of those inherent things that “come to me” when the moment is right. I told someone earlier today that after doing 2 12K “practice” runs and 2 half marathons (complete with PR’s) in the past month and a half, at this point, I hope to just finish as healthy as I started, completely inspired by my team of purple warriors out there beating the road down for a cancer cure.