Thursday, April 21, 2011

Let Me Be Me

I have a family member who often, and I mean often, asks me when I'm going to stop running long distances, among several annoying questions. I find the prodding bothersome, because it is persistent, consistent and insistent.

I thought about this twice recently, once when I was pressed again in person and again when I received an email from extolling the virtues of hitting the road. Read for yourself, "10 Reasons Running Is Good For You."

If those reasons aren't good enough, here are a few more. I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't been running and training for the many half marathons and one marathon I've run since 2006. Consider:

- The positive energy expended dealing with an avalanche of negative cancer energy.

- The rewarding process of setting and reaching a goal. Accomplishments that require work and discipline filter positively into all areas of life.

- The example for our children. Life goes on, no matter awful things are or seem.

- The money raised for cancer research and related philanthropies, which will benefit others like us down the road.

- Addressing doubts and fears. One can work out a lot during a one-hour run. Running requires physical effort, but moves the spirit and bolsters resolve.

I could go on, but why bother? The benefits far, far outweigh the risks. See comments for the greatest reason of all.

Too often, we look at a loved one's choices through our own eyes, not his or hers. While we may mean well by sharing our own fears or concerns, we can actually harm the relationship. We walk a fine line between selfless love and controlling love.

Tuesday morning, I left the apartment at 5:30 and ran five miles. In high humidity, I felt the toxins leaving my body during a heavy sweat. Yesterday, Kathryn and I worked out in the fitness gym on six separate machines and did sit-ups. We felt great this morning, a good sore near areas that needed work.


PJ said...

Keep running for Dori. I will, too.

Jim said...

Yes, the greatest reason of all.

I thought about her journey on that run two days ago. I thought about dedicating the Cape Cod Marathon and other races to her.

I started running a lot more the year before her diagnosis. The whole running thing has touched so many levels for me. Today's post was a vent, but the mission remains the same. Run for Dori.

Thanks for your spirit and dedication, PJ.


Amy Wylie said...

Hi Jim! I don't know you but posted on caringbridge recently--we are Scott and Liz's friends. I loved your post and thought you might be interested in a group in Memphis started by a woman I met online Eva Paharik--I am posting the link here:

She has stage 4 sarcoma and has since taken up running and now runs half and full marathons all over the place. She told me that she needed somewhere to channel all the cancer energy. She is such an inspiration and validates your blog entry about running! We are rooting for all of you and praying for the best--:)Amy

Amy Wylie said...

Oops, I posted the wrong link--try this one:

Ronni Gordon said...

So well put about why we keep running. I'll just repeat what I wrote after your last post. Remember how important it is for caregivers to take care of themselves so that they will have what it takes to take care of their loved one, and therefore remember to keep on running. Plus I bet that it makes Dori feel good that you continue your running and workouts.

Jim said...

Thanks, Ronni, and hello, Amy.

Ronni, I ran four miles in 90-degree Texas heat today, but that's nothing compared to the mile Dori walked on the treadmill. She's slowing down from the chemo, but still is getting after it.

Ann said...

Running in that kind of heat and humidity can be brutal. Chris used to take me out walking around the complex around dusk so I could get some exercise. It must have been a sight. Kudos to you and Dori for continuing to get after it. I have to wonder why someone would continuously ask you when you're going to stop running. It seems like they might need a hobby of their own. Love to you both.