Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gasparilla - Tampa Marathon

I ran Gasparilla today, the Tampa marathon. It's been difficult to train in Ohio this winter. A week ago I realized I was no where close to being ready for the race. I was out of condition and behind on training. The longest run I had done all winter was 7 miles, and it about killed me. So clearly the only logical option was to send in the registration money and go for it (well..maybe not logical, but I really wanted on of their cool T-shirts).

It was a hard race. Before it started, I told a friend that my only goal was to cross the finish line alive. He responded, "Don't worry. Very few people die usually pass out first." Thanks. I appreciated the uplifting words.

During the race, I felt like a guy a I saw years ago. It was while helping at a marathon water station around mile 23. This guy comes running along, eyes closed and face grimacing in pain. He was repeating, "Help me Jesus, help me, help me Jesus." I jumped out in front of him and yelled, "Water!" He opened his eyes, hugged me, kissed me, and said "Thank you, Jesus!" He then took the water and keep running, saying , "Help me Jesus, help me, Jesus."

But in the end, I did it. It was a tough, but nothing that couldn't be fixed by an ice bath and a hand full of Tylenol (and maybe a few beers). A friend meet me at the finish line, and pointed out that a guy with no legs had finished ahead of me. Thanks for pointing that out.

The hardest part of the race was that several mile markers were missing. It was impossible to accurately know where you were in the race, or how far it was to the finish line. It is incredibly difficult to keep pushing when you are unsure of your progress or how much longer you will need to battle.

And I believe that this is the worst part of cancer. These kids keep pushing with every ounce of their body and soul. And their race does not last a few hours. It goes on for months or years. They search for signs of their progress. But the finish line is elusive, always moving. Still, they give all they have to give. They refuse to lose, racing on and on. Finally the finish line is reached. But far too often that line is only an illusion. The cancer relapses, and the race continues. These kids deal with that reality every day of their life.

As I started the race, I wrote three names on my shirt. They are three of my friends. They are back in the race, running with courage. Please remember they in your thoughts and prayers.

Chistina O'Brian fought cancer. She ran the race, and won. But just a the celebration was about to begin, she was thrown back with a relapse. A return to all the unknown. So Christina did what she did before. She stood strong, continued the race, and beat cancer again. She refused to let cancer change her life. In spite of having no hair, she attended her school dance...and her beautiful face and smile filled the room. Then, last week Christina relapsed again. So now what? Now she does what she always does. She jumps back in the race. And will win again. You can bet on it.

Matthew Barr is 4 1/2. He has been in the race most of his life. He also has won, and he also then relapsed. Yet through it all, his beautiful spirit continues to shine through his bright eyes and wonderful smile. Just the sound of his quiet sweet voice can melt your heart. Watching his calm confidence, it's hard to imagine the incredible battle this young man has been fighting. Always fight to win.

Sinjin Andrukas also has Burkitt's Lymphoma. Doctors said hope was gone, that survival was impossible. By Sinjin replied, "It's easy. Just change IMPOSSIBLE to I'M POSSIBLE!" Sinjin proved who was in charge, and beat cancer. He has destroyed the cancer, but treatments can cause a lot of problems. Sinjin is now back in the race, as his body fights all the damage from the chemo and transplant. Sinjin has given us all a priceless gift. He has proven the nothing in impossible.

There is nothing impossible to him who will try. -Alexander The Great

It is our duty to proceed as though the limit of our abilities do not exist. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:18-19

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. -Judges 6:12

We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell. -Lance Armstrong

“But whatever happens,” he said, "I will run.” -2 Samuel 18:23

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible. -Escher

What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible. -Teddy Roosevelt

Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer. -
Percy Cerutty


Anonymous said...

great job on the run, Kyle. We continue to pray for the children.

Anonymous said...

thank yo for remembering the kids fighting cancer

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