|The pain I felt from running that race will never compare to the pain you endured|
while fighting that dreadful disease. (Race for Breath 5K Virginia Beach 2009)
I started running two years ago (January 2009) for my mom. I lost my mom to lung cancer 3 months before that. My mom never smoked a cigarette in her life. While her passing was somewhat comforting because it meant she was no longer in a lot of pain, I had a difficult time getting used to life without her.
The day I became a runner was when a very dear friend invited me to exercise with a group of moms who was training to run the Race for Hope 5K in Washington DC, a race which supports brain tumor/brain cancer research and awareness. They were running as a team to support another friend who lost her father to brain cancer. The thought of running just 3 miles was overwhelming to me then. I was not a runner. I hated running. I dreaded those runs we had to do for Presidential Fitness Challenge in elementary school. But the thought of running to support a fight against cancer never left me because I knew I wanted to do the same and run for my mom. I needed to go through the challenge of learning how to run in order to cope with my loss and eventually to start healing.
Thus began my journey to run and to heal. Inspired and encouraged by these moms, I took on the Couch-Potato-to-5K training plan challenge with one of my best friends and in two months, ran my first 5K race in DC for colon cancer - Scope It Out 5K - in memory of her mom who passed away from colon cancer. Two months after that, I joined that same group of moms and ran the Race for Hope 5K in DC, pushing my then 1 1/2 year old son in a jogging stroller. Finally the day came when my husband and I ran the Race for Breath 5K in Virginia Beach for Lung Cancer. I was unprepared for the emotion that came over me like a waterfall right at the start line. I didn't think I could start the race that was so important to me. But I did. I ran and ran and ran with all my heart for my mom and kept running since.
These days, I still run for my mom and I also run for me. Depending on the day, I run for many different reasons......
I run to fight cancer and honor lives touched by cancer on race days (Please visit my current cancer fundraiser HERE)
On other days, I run for the pure joy of it, because it makes me feel alive and free.
I run so I can watch the sun set and marvel at the colors it leaves behind.
I run to counteract the cookies I plan on indulging later in the day.
I run to see just how far I can go.
I run to play over and over, the memories with my mom.
I run to erase stress so I can go back to the day's or week's tasks, refreshed.
I run so I can be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.
I run to vent frustrations, usually with a friend.
I run to watch butterflies fluttering to clear my running path (hello, mom!)
I run so I can think about what to do in my next art project.
I run to be inspired.
I run to find out where the miles will take me.
I run to hear my mom telling me to be careful.
I run so I can be faster (still working on this one!).
I run to feel that runner's high at the end.
I run because it is part of who I am now and because I can.
What about you? Why do you run?