Back in February, I became a Fit City Mom Blogger. It was one of the things that clicked my motivation forward. I was already formulating a plan, taking some action. And there was a series of events that helped click-click-click my motivation into a constant phase of action that I’ve never experienced before. I started blogging here. A blogging friend completed a 5K after doing the Couch to 5K program. I’d had several “ah-ha” moments about my current state of unhealthy choices and was starting to see glimmers of hope for a serious change.
The clincher was deciding to sign up with MomsLikeMe Indy’s Race for the Cure team. They’ve had a team for the past 4 or 5 years. The team has grown- the first year, there were 8 people. This year, the team has over 60 members! I’ve always been interested but never signed up.
I’m going to be honest- I didn’t sign up because walking a 5K really didn’t interest me and because breast cancer hadn’t touched my life in a difficult or profound way. I knew people who had lost a family member or friend to breast cancer. But I hadn’t personally lost someone or been close to a situation where breast cancer took someone’s life. I’d always had great admiration for the women who had fought breast cancer and won; I’d always been supportive of those who were fighting it. It just hadn’t touched my life in a personal, direct way. And once it did- it was life changing.
There was an active member on MomsLikeMe for a couple of years- her name was Michele. While I have made some great friends on that site, she wasn’t really one of them. We didn’t agree on much. We didn’t dislike one another- our paths just didn’t cross because we didn’t have much in common. There was one thing we had in common that built a respect between us- she and I were both the kind of people who would literally give the shirt off our backs to someone in need. I’d witnessed her compassion towards moms in need on the site. Other than that, I’d only met her twice in passing and didn’t know her or her family.
In May, she shared with our online community that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The community started coming together to rally around her and help her out with some things. I watched from a safe distance- not participating because I didn’t know her that well. In late June, she was hospitalized. The cancer had spread before she could start chemo. The moms from our site came together in a very powerful way- we brought food to the family at the hospital, we took meals to the kids and caregivers at home, we met in the hospital chapel to pray. I had intended to, again, remain on the outskirts. Through a series of events, I ended up very involved and close to it all.
I still never really knew Michele. But now I know her sister, her husband, her mother, her children. They aren’t part of my daily life but I do carry all of them in my heart.
I chose to sign up for the team to walk the Race for the Cure for Michele. Her husband, Tim, is joining our team and I will walk that first mile by his side.
And then I will run. I started the Couch to 5K program right after I signed up for Race for the Cure. The motivation locked into place. I’m going to do this 5K because of Michele but I am going to run at least part of it as a promise to me that I am worth it. I deserve a healthy and strong body. I deserve to know what my body can do and how it should feel. I deserve to take care of myself- with a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables, with daily activity and regular exercise, with monthly breast self exams, with annual physicals, with bi-annual visits to the dentist, with an annual OB visit, and so on.
I’ve been training consistently for the past 7 weeks. I’ve been making improvements, fighting through hurdles, overcoming difficulties, and learning a lot about myself in the process. In the past 7 weeks, I’ve become a runner. I’m ready for this 5K. I can’t run all of it. I don’t intend to run all of it. This 5K isn’t just about running a race or a distance. This 5K is about coming together and showing support for those who have fought and won, for those who are fighting, and for those who lost the battle. Michele lost her battle within a week of her hospitalization.
This 5K is about the Cause.
What Cause are you willing to walk for? To run for? What (or who) are you willing to get Fit for?
I hope I will see you at the Race for the Cure this Saturday, April 17 in Indianapolis! I’ll be in my silver and hot pink running shoes and wearing a black, white, and pink MomsLikeMe team shirt- if you think you see me, please introduce yourself!