Comrades In Arms
Several years ago I decided to put running a half marathon on my bucket-list. Now, I hate running. It hurts. So it has been an easy goal to put off. Along with the fact that I haven’t been healthy enough to do that kind of cardiovascular work until recently.
I used to be a sprinter during elementary school with the local track club, Sunshine Striders. I ran the 400 m, 200 m, and did the long-jump. 400 m was the one I was best at, but hated the most. It is 1/4 mile sprint. Imagine running the fastest you can for a 1/4 mile? Crazy!!! I was really great at it. Said my coach to my father in a formal letter. He compared me to Jackie Joyner-Kersee a track superstar in the 80’s, who he used to coach. Did I mention that I am Jamaican? For Jamaicans track and field is like playing hockey for Canadians or football for Americans. My dad was determined to see me become an olympic champ. He probably still has that letter framed somewhere. Anyway, I quit the following year. I have only watched the Olympics on tv. For the next 20 years, almost every conversation I had with my dad had the phrase “Remember when you used to run track? Then you quit…” I broke his heart, poor guy. All that to say, I hate running more that 200 m. So, a 1/2 marathon is a huge goal for me.
Something important to mention about the type of Breast Cancer I had, it feeds on hormones. Hormones live in fat. Burn fat, reduce hormones, kill cancer cells. Running is one of the best exercises for burning fat, because it is an excellent cardio workout. That is why running is awesome for hormone positive breast cancer survivors, like me, to reduce our risk of reoccurrence. Today we popped into the local Sport’s Check. I was looking at new running shoes, dreaming about distance running outside. I found similar shoes to my old ones, but these where special. They were the breast cancer awareness shoes. I saw them, and I got choked up. Then I tried them on and started bawling. Weird!
So this is what I was thinking… As I put on the shoes it felt like I was putting on the weight of all the cancer fighters, my peers who fought alongside me. Day after day of 29 radiation treatments that melted away my skin. Those going for chemo sitting next to me while I received my iron IV. My loved ones who lost their fight, and all those that will fight. I will run. I will run for my future. I will run to celebrate your fight. My comrades in arms.