I recently lost my Dad to advanced colon cancer. The anger, sadness and pain that followed was overwhelming, and if it weren't for my amazing fiancé and friends who listened to me and encouraged me to get back into running, I don't know where I'd be now.
Running has helped me cope with the loss and pain. It gave me time to think about my experience and sort out my feelings. For most people the grieving process is a life-long journey of coping and despite what people tell me, it’s nothing one “gets over.” It simply is something you learn to live with.
Next weekend I'll be running the Nike Women 10K race. I will dedicate this race to my Dad . I will be running with a heavy heart, and yet my spirit will be lifted by the memories we shared. I’m not sure what a heavy heart weighs, but I’m betting it will be more than offset by the inspiration he will always continue to provide.
My Dad was an avid cheerleader for all members of the family, and he was always happy listening all about my running endeavors. When I would visit him at his work for his lunch break, he would always ask how many miles I ran that day.
I know he would want me to go ahead and run and most importantly live our lives to the fullest, and I will be carry his picture in my pocket during the race to symbolically have him at my side.
Later this year June 2nd I will also take part in the Colon Cancer Canada's Push for the Tush in memory of Dad. I want to encourage all of you to take part or at the very least become more active and healthier by simply walking more or running.
Running can be a very introverted activity. A person generally runs for the personal reasons of keeping himself or herself in shape, experiencing the joy of running a personal best, and competing against other runners. However, running can also have a positive impact on other individuals. By running for a cause, you are not only improving your life, but also the lives of others. In this way, the sometimes selfish sport of running can be a wonderful gift to your fellow human beings.
If you have always wanted to run a specific race, but simply did not have a motivation to sign up, consider using fundraising as your ultimate motivator. Running for a cause may be one of the most rewarding things you ever do.
Still need more motivation? Read about Robin Arzon and how she joined forces with MS Run the US to run across the US while raising awareness and funds to END MS. Her passion and drive has inspired me to take my running game to a new level.