I guess there's no better day than World Cancer Day to kick things off.....
About a week ago, I made a decision that is somewhat selfish in nature but nonetheless felt compelled and excited to do it. I decided that this year is the year I'm FINALLY going to run the Detroit Marathon....that's right---the full 26.2 miles! There were several factors that influenced my decision:
1. I've been looking for a personal challenge and while I've finished several half marathons over the last few years, I've always managed to talk myself out of pushing myself a little bit further. That all changes this year.
2. I've been so inspired by my brother and sister-in-law, Jason Piper and Adela Piper and the marathons they've completed that I want to be cool like them and join the Marathon Club ;)
3. It wouldn't be so awful to get in shape for that wedding coming up in September....
4. I hate cancer.
I have to say that #4 is the primary reason I decided to do this. Over the last several years, and this year in particular, my circle of family and friends have gone through some trying times. My mother-in-law to be was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after we got engaged last June. A former co-worker of mine, a young, healthy, active woman was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. I enjoyed reminiscing with old classmates at our 10-year reunion this past December but couldn't help but be saddened that two of our classmates couldn't join us as their lives were taken by cancer at a young age. I've seen my aunt, uncle, and grandmother battle cancer on and off as it continues to rear its ugly head. And I've also lost two grandparents to cancer.
I'm not unique in this situation. I feel like we could all play 6 Degrees of Cancer instead of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the latter being much more enjoyable. We all know someone, whether it be ourselves, a family member, or a friend of a friend who has battled some type of cancer. And I think it just plain sucks.
I know I'll never be the one looking under the microscope finding the cure for cancer (I'll be lucky if I can figure out how to turn it on). I know that me running 26.2 miles isn't going to magically end cancer. However, as those of you that know me well, I can't just sit back and let things happen without somehow getting involved. I've got legs, I've got motivation, I've got the Internet, and therefore I can do SOMETHING. I've created a fundraising page to benefit the American Cancer Society, which I've included at the bottom of this lengthy post (you all also know I have a pretty big mouth and am quite loquacious :) ). If you feel compelled, please visit the website and consider making a donation or sharing it with others. If not, maybe this will inspire you to take on your own personal challenge. I've set a goal of $2,500 which would be awesome if we could reach it! But if not, every dollar counts, especially to those individuals and their families who are battling cancer right now.
As I've done with a previous breast cancer walk I participated in, I'm planning on honoring those individuals who have all been a part of your lives. The strength that each and every person and family exerts throughout cancer treatment is incredible. I have a bum foot and crampy legs, so I need all the strength I can get to take me through this race :) I plan on making a shirt or ribbons or something (not sure what yet!) with their names on it to wear as I run my race. If you would like to honor somebody who has survived cancer or acknowledge those no longer with us in memory, please send me a private message, text, etc. I'd be honored to have them running with me!
Thanks for taking the time to read this! If nothing else, I hope this provided you a moment to reflect back on those loved ones of yours who have been on this journey already. :)