Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Surviving with a SMILE

Go to most running races and watch the faces of the finishers - you'll see grimaces, tears, frowns and smiles - every conceivable emotion can be seen at the Finish Line.

But there is a something in those smiles - joy, triumph, pride, sometimes a hint of relief...those are the people that I am drawn to every time. I want to know what makes them smile!

On Sunday at the Survivor Harbor 7 race in Baltimore, MD - Team CANCER to 5K: 20 runners & volunteers strong, all finished their races with BIG SMILES!

This season the CANCER to 5K program trained 15 runners for 12-weeks to run either the 4-mile or the 7-mile distance of the Survivor Harbor 7 race. Coach Bob Shaver led the way every Tuesday and Saturday at group workouts along with the help of this seasons new group of Assistant Coaches (Arnetta D., Destiney I., Monica R. and Andrea H.) and our ever present and dedicated group of volunteer pace leaders helped to encourage the group of survivors to new distances.

While in the beginning of the program, the common tie that binds this diverse group of people together is CANCER - either as a survivor, a supporter, a supportive family member, a volunteer - at the end of 12 weeks - it is the running, the training and the common goal to challenge themselves and "LiveSTRONG" that makes this group a Team.

Pace doesn't matter for Team CANCER to 5K - we cover the every part of the collective PACK (Front, Middle and Back) - what matters is that we are in this together - committed to taking a risk, trying something new (running) and showing ourselves and those around us that we will not let "cancer" determine what is possible and that we can reclaim our health - on our own terms and go onto to achieve great things!

With all these "personal goals", you would think that all that matters is the Finish Line - but that is not the case. This year, we had a few Teammates who were not able to race - those Teammates were there with us - in our hearts and minds as we covered the distance. They are facing the challenges of different fight's this season - recovery from injury, cancer diagnosis of family members, complications/reoccurrence of cancer & even happy changes in family status. All these challenges serve as a reminder to us all that STRENGTH and ENDURANCE are important in all facets of our life to be nurtured and encouraged and that to "LiveSTRONG" can have so many definitions.

For Helen , Shawn , Jessica W., Alisa and Katy S. - you were with us, every mile.

CONGRATULATIONS to the SPRING 2009 CANCER to 5K Team! You did it!!

FALL 2009 Season starts August 1, 2009: Come explore the meaning of the word ENDURANCE as a Cancer Survivor - One Mile at a Time! CANCER to 5K

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