Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Not What I Wanted...Better!

For years (YEARS!) I have wanted to participate in the Freedom Run on the Fourth of July.  Even back in the days of hating running only slightly less than I hate stepping on Lego pieces I still wanted to do it.  I wanted the cool shirt and I wanted to be able to do it.  I've never done it because I've never been ready for one reason or another.  This year I'm ready!  I actually considered running the 10k, but my training schedule has me down for 3 miles that day and I've been determined to stick to it religiously.
Last year's (or maybe it's for this year, not sure...) shirt and the measurements.  Because the two were connected.

Now that I'm all signed up and don't even see a 5k as particularly difficult (what did that happen?!?) I'm way excited.  I finally get to run along with everyone in their red, white, and blue tech shirts.  Because I've gotten better at running I've even been looking forward to seeing how much time improvement I'll have over my last 5k.  My last time was exactly 30 minutes and I'm pretty sure I can do better.  I've been looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Then something happened.  A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was running the Freedom Run 5k in support of one of her former mission companions, Kassi.  I told her I'd see her there.  When she replied back she asked if I would hand out a couple flyers with a website for donating to help with the costs of Kassi's fight with brain cancer.  I said I would be happy to help.
The flyers
Not long after that the brakes in my head screeched me to a halt as I realized what handing out flyers would mean.  If I were to hand them out along the way it could seriously effect how long it takes to reach the finish line and that time is important to me.   As I read more on my friend's Facebook page I saw that those who are supporting Kassi could also wear hot pink and gray to be noticed among the sea of red, white, and blue clad runners.  That would mean not wearing the shirt I've coveted for so long and wanted to wear along with all the other runners.  And that was it.  The selfish part of me couldn't get past giving up the two things about this race that were most important to me.  I didn't want to do it anymore.  And then a thought occurred to me: I'm pretty sure Kassi doesn't want to have cancer or go through the treatments.  I bet her husband doesn't want it for his wife.  I bet their newborn daughter wants her mommy.  That certainly put things in perspective.

I've never met Kassi and, as she doesn't know me from Adam, I'm pretty sure our paths will never cross.  But I do know Lori.  She and her family live around the corner from us and moved into the development about seven months before we did, around the beginning of July 2011.  Her husband was in the final stages of brain cancer.  The day of the Freedom Run is the second anniversary of his death.  I know, love, and admire Lori.  She is raising two amazing children and supporting her family by running a preschool from her home.  She's pretty incredible.  I wasn't able to do anything to support Lori, but I can do this as a tribute to her family as well as to help Kassi and her family now that she has started her treatments.  So now I won't be running in my matching shirt and I may not beat my old time.  That's okay; this is better.

If you want to help and read more about Kassi, go to the donation website: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/59c2/teamkassi/

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