Friday, October 15, 2010

Running for a Cause

This will be a quick post primarily because the message is communicated very clearly in the email I will include below. For those that know me, you are aware I am a Team in Training marathon coach, you are aware I am passionate about finding a cure for cancer (which stems from the fact it took my father, attacked my wife and runs rampant through the lives of my friends) and you are aware of my belief that the journey to completing a marathon can change your life. I also have been known, on many occasions, to communicate my belief that blessings come from even the worst of times. Yesterday, an email from a past TNT participant and dear friend arrived that served as a reminder and confirmation that all of these beliefs are with merit.
Why am I posting this email? After reading it and sharing a quick tear of sadness and pride, I realized this email might make a difference to those out there contemplating whether or not they should sign up for Team in Training or, for that matter any training program that is attached to a worthy cause. I was drafted to Team in Training because leukemia attacked my father but there are some incredible organizations out there doing amazing things to fight cancer, aids, hunger, MS, Autism and Crohn's disease to name a few (many amazing people participate in these other organizations...ACS DetermiNation, Operation Jack, etc.). Running a marathon certainly will change your life. Running a marathon and completing it for others will forever change you........will make you a stronger person all the while making a difference in the lives of others and changing the world. I always tell my participants they are affecting the lives of people they will never come to know and they are pushing cancer towards the history books where our kids or our kid's kids will not know such horrible diseases but instead will have to turn to page 287 and read about them. To be a part of that effort all the while teaching yourself to push past fears, push past doubts and teach yourself what you are capable of........ it is an amazing journey. If you are thinking about signing up for Team in Training or any other organization but are afraid of the commitment, I would say that is exactly why you SHOULD sign up. Exercise some faith and I promise you will be rewarded beyond your wildest personal guarantee. Here is the email (please know I was given the permission to share this but I have taken out the names):

Hi Coach,
Just wanted to touch base with you... been a while since Cool Breeze. Hope you, Crea and the kids are well.

I was supposed to be going to the Nike Women's Half Marathon this coming weekend, but I won't be able to attend in the end. Also, I am off Facebook, it was too public and complicated for my crazy life, so I am writing you here.

Since January, D has been fighting a recurring ear infection. Ten days ago we found out it wasn't an ear infection. He was leaking cerebral spinal fluid through his eustachean tube and it was wreaking havoc and becoming an antibiotic resistant infection. Monday he underwent a second major surgery at UCLA. I am the one taking care of him, and I've spent the past three days at the hospital. When I'm not there, I'm home, taking care of S.

Every day I wear my TNT jacket. I don't even know why. It's not blood cancer. It's not even cancer. But it makes me feel strong, it reminds me of what I can (and did) accomplish. It reminds me who I am.

And today, when I was leaving the hospital and I walked out into the sun, I thought of you and the other coaches and mentors and teammates I've met in the past two years and how grateful I am that you were the one who was there that night at the library in West Hollywood. Because you shared a little of yourself that night, I knew I wanted to be a part of what you were doing. And it has made all the difference in my life.

So I just wanted to touch base with you, tell you what's going on, and thank you. You were right. It changed my life. And even now, when my head has doubts, my heart jumps in and sets me on the right path. And I smile and thank you. Even now.

Much love to you and your precious family, as always, E

Martin Luther King said "Faith is taking the first step even when you dont see the whole staircase". Take that first step. You won't regret it.

A quick comment to my fellow coaches, mentors and volunteers. When you tell others about your organization, speak from the heart. This friend of mine, despite a very personal story, came to an information meeting unsure of whether she would sign up. Because I spoke about the program at a very personal level, she joined our team and went on to raise over $100,000 for one race. In total she has raised $147,000 to date. We changed her life. She changed mine.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this email. I'm sitting here getting ready to begin my next TNT adventure - coaching a team in Phoenix for PFChangs and e Paris marathon. I have so much energy going through me rig now because my excitement is so high for all the participants. TNT did change me, and I've seen it change other people. Like you, I have an all too personal connection to blood cancer. Thinking of my mother helped me get through my first season and the last two miles of my first marathon. Having a connection to the cause is so motivating, and knowing that you are helping others makes it all worth it.

    Keep up you great work, keep inspiring others, and together we WILL beat these diseases! Go TEAM!