Monday, June 22, 2009

Zombie Warrior In Training

I have been avoiding writing this post for almost 12 weeks.

That was when I agreed to jo
in Team In Training again to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Most of you remember the story of how I joined TNT last year, going from a well-rounded couch potato to a half marathon runner. The moment I walked into my hotel room before the Nike Women's Marathon, I called her and promised I would do it again next year, if she promised to come to San Francisco. She promised she would and we had a date. Her promise carried me up the hills and through the streets that day. Crossing the finish line was one of the happiest moments in my life--blown out knee, aching ankle, blisters and all. The only thing that clouded the euphoria was knowing that Manda didn't make it to San Francisco because her treatments weren't working. When I posted pictures of the event, she saw what I had written on my arm (Zombie Warrior) and wrote two words that brought tears, "My Hero!" She was gracious like that.

I haven't written about her since she passed, even though I think of her almost daily. I thought of her as I agreed to join as a mentor, knowing that my original motivation for running was gone; and I think of her every Saturday morning as I try to motivate my team members with a heavy heart.

This year, I know my fund raising can't help her any more, nor can my misadventures make her laugh (or wonder who the heck I am). I'm getting ready for a date that I know will break my heart. That's why everything I am doing (my running, my fund raising, my planning) is behind. Somewhere around the sixth or seventh attempt to write this in April, I had to stop.

A friend and I were talking about this and he made me think of why I'm running again. Amanda inspired me, but now I've met so many others who went through what she did. This week, I learned that one of my mentees will miss the next few weeks of training because he is scheduled for chemo. I have friends who were recently diagnosed with various blood cancers (two in the last year) and those who fight chronic forms of it; I have learned of friends who have overcome their battles and are living healthy lives. When I think about it, I realize my participation and fund raising were inspired by Amanda, but now includes many more friends who I'd like to think are benefiting from my feeble efforts.

And with this, my fund raising officially begins. I know a lot has changed since last year and donations might be smaller. I'll shamelessly accept donations big and small with gratitude. I am looking for sponsors, so if you know of any businesses that want their name raced through the streets of San Francisco, I can provide you with more details. I would also appreciate it if you could each pass on my fund raising site to at least 5 of your most generous friends.

Where is the link for you to donate? Right here!

I'll continue to post stories, updates and possibly pictures. Once my training jersey is personalized I'll start modeling it. Until then, I appreciate your support in any form and amount.


lordhelmet said...

Nicely written - I make no promises for now but I'll do my best to contribute or browbeat people to do it for me. Cancers of all kinds suck, and need us all to unite to beat them down. My hat off to you for running again.

replica said...

You can run for my friend John, a former marine and bonafide hero who has been fighting leukemia for 16 years now. Or his daughter, just diagnosed with breast and cervical cancer. Or his granddaughter, who has a free-from cancer so awful and rare I can't even type the name of it from memory. There's millions more that only wish they had your name to thank.

I'll do my best to donate this month, but at the very least you can allow our best wishes to carry you forward - we're all really proud of you!

Lainey said...

I adore you for so many reasons. This is but one of the many, many reasons!

You are one kick-ass woman.

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Lordhelmet: Thank you for the kind words. Our many conversations helped a great deal. I encourage you to browbeat as many people as you can. It's for a good cause.

Replica: What an amazing family of fighters. I hope they kick cancer's butt, each and every one of them.

Lainey: You leave me speechless. Thank you.