13 years ago my husband came home from work and asked me to “teach him” how to run. A strange request because he was truly one of the most explosive speed runners I knew; but he meant distance, and he meant “together”…so we talked about how to accomplish this challenge.
Typical of us, we jumped right in and decided to train for and run a marathon together! Something neither one of us had ever done before. We took up a great cause and began raising money for the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society without really knowing much about the diseases, only that the group offered good support for new marathoners. We thought we could run the marathon in Hawaii and use it as a little get away; we raised more than $7,000 in just a few months with the help of family and friends, and learned a lot about challenge and perspective at the same time.
No one understands why things happen: Life is hard, but God is good. When you live in forward motion you are doing good things for the right reasons, even when you don’t know “why” you are doing-what-you’re-doing in that moment.
Reflection today leads me back to my thoughts during that first marathon training: I remember wanting to quit after the first 18-mile run. I also remember, quite vividly, the fact that we had committed to “The Team” which is what kept me from walking away at that point! Whining, injured thoughts: Ugg, I have to do this now!? Too many people have donated to the Cause in our name, and we have to cross that finish line. There were other challenges for us during that same time, career hurdles with an unexpected job change; it was stressful.
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When we felt beat up by the situation, in addition to the extensive running with the balancing act of 2 young children and a job search; we were able to use the Team in Training to gain real perspective which helped us to dig deep for the greater good…we had our health and could continue for this purpose which we didn’t know would touch our lives so closely down the road.
Fast forward 13 years: My brother-in-law went for a bike ride last week and after falling off his bike, doctors found leukemia.
This week has been a long week, full of powerful prayer and support. Moving at the speed of light, the doctor’s currently have him in a full-swing, knockout blow on the disease…with his family by his side, prayers and support are flowing!
I am certain this was not what he had planned for this week at all and surely found himself not wanting to “do this” either. This is a marathon nobody chooses to run; digging deep is the only option. We know that he is using the strength he has gained in living a healthful life all along to hurdle this challenge and begin recovering as soon as he has this cancer in remission.
My husband and I never did make it to Hawaii; instead we simply ran a local marathon that had a finish line. 26.2 miles- injured, tired and drained, I still remember crossing that first finish line & thinking to myself: If this is a glimpse at what leukemia patients go through, then WOW, they are strong!
Ironically, as our family hunkered down in prayer this week, my 14-year-old looked at me and quietly said, “They (the specialists) know more about this disease then any other.” A friend of hers from school has just spent a month in the hospital fighting leukemia too and is getting ready to make a triumphant return to class in the coming weeks.
Perspective: I hadn’t really thought about my connection to The Team until she so confidently said those words, and it brought some hot tears to my eyes as I realized that somehow we contributed to that knowledge through those donations years ago.
You don’t really need to know “why” you need to live your life in forward motion…you just need to commit to your values, commit to a strong spirit and do good things because they are good things to do for yourself and for others. Go Team! Go Brother!
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