I’ve been thinking about doing Team in Training for a few years now. It’s an endurance program where you train for an event while raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Well I’m finally doing it! I’ve officially begun training for the Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon.
I’m crazy, right? I’m not an athlete. I’m clumsy… and what really kept me from doing this for so long . . . how will I raise almost $4,000!?!?! No I am not crazy, I am inspired. My reasons for doing this outweigh my reasons for chickening out. Let me break them down for you:
1. If they can fight cancer, I can learn to run and raise money. (Yes, I said learn to run. I’ve never been a runner, so I am doing walk/run intervals and working up to being able to run more of the race. My goal is just to finish and run some of it!)
My mother Donna (pictured to the left with my brother Doug and best friend Jen in 2001), was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 and lost her battle in June 2006, the day before my 26th birthday. She was not perfect, but seriously she was a superwoman. She raised my brother and me on her own, and could make, cook, or sew anything you could possibly imagine. She was funny, spunky (“cancer sucks” became one of her token phrases), and always spoiled movies with comments like “well she can’t die now, there’s only 10 minutes left” or “don’t run upstairs when you’re being chased!” She was hard working, creative, thoughtful, and I still miss her everyday. You can read a little more on the website I created when she was sick.
If mom had been able to survive, she would already have three events planned. I mean, who else would have thrown herself a going away party the weekend before she died? She was a fantastic event planner and fundraiser. She worked at an accounting firm, and planning events and organizing charitable initiatives was her absolute favorite thing to do there.
Just months after Mom passed, my friend Brian was diagnosed with lymphoma. It was so hard for him to tell my brother and I. I met Brian in college, and he was part of our close group of journalism major friends. We have now been friends over a decade – crazy! And he has been in remission for over 5!
2. If she can do it, I can do it.
My cousin Robin has been involved in Team and Training, and has loved it. Her mother, Janice, donated bone marrow to my mom, which enabled us to keep her a little longer. She runs for mom and for all the families touched by these horrible blood cancers. She has run multiple marathons and has formed great relationships. She has truly inspired me and because of her experience, I know that mine will be a great one.
3. I have nothing to lose.
Let’s see . . . learn to be a better fundraiser, lose weight, make new friends. . . sounds awesome right? It’s all about attitude. There is no physical reason why I can’t do it (I have no injuries or ailments), so the only way I fail is if I tell myself I can’t do it. I started training earlier this week, and when I have trouble finishing a run increment, visualizing the photo below of all the pants in my house that don’t currently fit helps 🙂
Let the countdown begin – Disney World half marathon here I come!