Tuesday, May 28, 2013

But seriously folks

If you know me, or are getting to know me through this blog, you will know that I am not terribly fit... and that is putting it mildly. I am not much of a gym-goer. I don't really "do" classes for my own well-being. I walk a lot, but that is more a method of getting from A to B than an attempt to do something good for myself. And I did not run*. I had never run for a few reasons; the socially acceptable: bad knees; the medically questionable: aerobic induced asthma; and the undeniable: I am lazy and running* is hard.

Last year I was passed a flyer during one of my daughter's classes. There was a group starting, comprised only of new moms, that would be training for and subsequently walking/running a 10K to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Despite my natural instinct to throw any flyer I am handed away immediately (as a New Yorker, you get passed A LOT of crap pieces of paper), I held onto this one and brought it home to examine in my free time.

About a week later, I re-read the thing for the 30th time. There would be free training sessions, once a week, with other mothers in varying states of fitness, you could bring your kid, training for a race you could walk, run or not do, all to raise money for a great cause. It seemed too good to be true and that scared me. You see, in addition to being quick to throw away unnecessary flyers, New Yorkers can be overly suspicious of things that seem too good to be true.

This Moms-in-Training group, as they are called, is simply not the kind of thing I would ever do. I'm not much of a "joiner." I'm a loner Dottie... a rebel. I hate entering situations where I don't know anybody. You see, while I love rambling on and on here, I'm not really one for small talk. And to top it all off, I had to run... SO not for me.

Somehow I left my comfort zone behind and decided to join. With the help of a wonderful trainer, Meri (who does her own stroller fitness classes in New York), and the support of the other moms, I trained for the 10K. Two weeks before the race I discovered that we were meant to be working out on our own during the week between our weekly group training sessions... whoops! On the day of the 10K, I was joined by another mom who stuck with me through the entire race and definitely kept me running WAY longer than I thought I would or could. (Thank you Amanda!)

This year I am doing it again. I have managed to fit in a few of those mid-week solo training sessions and went for a few runs* on my own. It's really not so terrible, this running stuff. (said in my best Jewish grandparent voice)

A few reasons why I am running:
  • I can now run for longer that 5 minutes without wanting to pull my lungs from my chest and throw them in the river.
  • I can run straight for 3 miles or 30 minutes, whichever comes first (typically the 30 minutes). My first day last year, I set the goal of running straight for 1/3 mile. So I am actually improving.
  • I finally get to buy workout clothes that are not meant for a rainy/lazy day, but for using as they were intended.
  • When I have my earbuds in with the music playing, I appear to be listening to music. Really I am just lost in my own thoughts, or devoid of any thought... which is an amazing reprieve from work, life, children or all of the above. 
  • I am that runner that makes all the other runners feel great about themselves. And I know exactly how good I make them feel because I recently passed another runner for the first time. The physical and mental boost associated with passing someone (never mind that he was slowing down as he finished his run) was incredible. 
  • I am cool with being the slow one that gives the other runners that boost. 

A few reasons why I am running for LLS:
  • They asked - a big thanks to that flyer that I didn't throw away.
  • Their mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
  • The money we raise goes to researching medicines that are very often used to fight other forms of cancer, not just the various blood cancers that they are initially approved for. 
  • At our training sessions we hear stories of children who have fought and beaten cancer, and they are an inspiration.
  • At our training sessions we hear stories of children who have fought and lost their battle with cancer, and they are an inspiration.
  • None of us are impervious to the effects of cancer. It is everywhere and not going away quickly enough. So much research still needs to be done to make it A-treatable and then, hopefully one day, B-gone forever.
  • Every step of every run is a reminder that I do not need their services and for that I am so incredibly grateful.
  • I hope I never need their services. I hope you never need their services. But I am so glad they exist for those that do.
I hope you will help raise money so that our future can be one in which cancer no longer exists.

Contribute Here Now

Thank you! And I promise to be funnier in my next post.

*Please note: the use of the words "run," "runs" and "running" throughout this post denote the action most commonly referred to as jogging. But "Why I Jog" didn't sound quite as impressive, and I'm trying to solicit donations... so back off!
This "toddler-in-training" supports her "mom-in-training"
Best Cheerleader Ever!!

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