Monday, March 12, 2012
It has been an absolutely beautiful weekend in the Midwest. The weather was in the 60's, the sun shone, and it was a most un-March-like weekend! I was able to hang laundry out to dry, so naturally I went on a laundry-binge and did too many loads. But it felt so good to see all that clean linen whipping about in the wind!
So it's hard for me to deal with the fact that my winter cold is just hanging on. Don't my lungs understand that spring is here? For the last two weeks I've been coughing day and night (and night, and night, and night!). I've used up so many boxes of tissues that I'm getting thank you notes from their manufacturing company. It has been hard to keep my spirits up as the cough has lingered, and it's been even harder to push myself to work out knowing that as soon as the workout is over the hacking will resume.
But there's something about spring that lifts my spirits and feeds me to my very core in a way no chocolate chip cookie has ever done. So on Saturday I took myself out for a little run. Turns out that running 1.5 miles with a 25mph wind at my back is EASY, but walking 1.5 miles home INTO that same 25mph wind is, well, HARD. But it got me thinking about the 5k race I intend to do the first weekend in May. Somehow running outside makes the race seem closer, more real.
The race I'm going to do is a dear one to my heart. I live in a small town (about 25,000 people), and the race is a benefit for local families with a family member fighting cancer. I did this race for the first time last year- in fact, that was my first 5k race in 15 years- because one of the families had a son named Tyler who was fighting Leukemia. He was the same age as my oldest child, and he lost his fight two weeks before the race. It was truly amazing and inspiring to stand at the start with 800 people from my little town and know that the community could pull together to support its own. It may not be much, running a race when someone else is fighting for their life, or when a family is reeling from losing their little boy, but sometimes a little step to say "hey, you're not alone in this" is all someone needs.
My goal this year is the same as it was last year- to finish running. To go the full 5k without giving in to the negative self-talk that always tells me it's so much EASIER to just give up and walk. But Tyler is my inspiration...if a little boy can fight cancer for two years without ever giving up, then I can plod along in his memory. That is not too much to ask of my generally healthy body. I run for Tyler, and I run for his parents who have suffered a loss that no parent should ever, ever have to suffer.
I will continue to train for this race with the beneficiaries in mind. I will try to remember that a nasty winter cold, while annoying, is not cancer. My cold WILL go away (eventually), and I will return to my regularly scheduled life. I am among the lucky ones, and I will try to never lose sight of that.