As I crossed over the 10-mile mark with my running form fully in the groove, my mind began to wander. The endorphins had kicked in and I was enjoying the half-marathon, but I couldn’t help thinking about 2 years ago. That’s when I huffed and puffed my way through my first mile, on a quest to be able to run 5 miles without stopping to walk. I was 25 lbs. overweight and out-of-shape, but I had set my mind to do it.
You may be at that same place right now. If you’re over 40, you ARE going to hurt somewhere after exercising or running any significant distance. It will hurt for a while, and then go away, eventually to be replaced by stronger muscle tissue and a new level of self-confidence. The key is to get through that first mile and keep moving… moving toward the next step.
As many of you know, my brother Jeff is battling cancer. He doesn’t mind me sharing his story because he wants to help raise awareness for Multiple Myeloma, which will lead to a cure in our lifetime. He’s responding pretty well to the chemotherapy so far, and just had to get the big haircut.
I asked him about his mental state going through treatment these past few months. In so many words he said, “I don’t dwell too much on what could happen if the treatment doesn’t work. I just stay focused on the next step and keep doing what I’m supposed to do.”
I suppose this is the only way to maintain your sanity when faced with a life-threatening disease – focus only on what you CAN control, and keep moving forward. Come to think of it, this is not bad advice for any challenge you have to face in life.
As I crossed the finish line at 13.1 miles, I thought about Jeff and the excellent advice he has given me in my running – take it slow and stay focused on the next step. Just one year ago, the San Jose Half Marathon seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. Now it’s just a training run on my way to the 26.3 mile California International marathon Dec. 5.
THAT race I am running in honor of my brother, and for anyone stricken with Multiple Myeloma. We’re raising money to find a cure. I’m not even thinking about what could happen if they don’t find a cure. I’m taking action to do something about it.
After all, it’s the next step.
***Let’s find a cure for Multiple Myeloma! Click here to donate and pass this story to a friend. Thank you!
Photo Credit – A dedicated runner training at sunrise on Hornsea seafront from Barry Thompson.