6.02.2008

Marathon

Last week our team received an email from the mom of our honored patient, a four year old boy who is fighting Leukemia.  He has been telling people "There are people running for me".  He was so proud of the fact that people were running for him.  I ran with his picture on my back yesterday, thinking of him many times when the going got rough.

I completed my marathon.  My knee decided to have some issues yesterday during the run. There was a stretch of seven miles where I had to mostly do speed walking.  I knew there would be some pain involved in this experience, but this was more than aches and pains. My knee would buckle and there wasn't anything I could do about it.  

Right at the time where I knew I was going to have to walk, we met up with the four other members of our group (we got separated at a bathroom stop).  Of those four, two of them were having the same knee issues.  The three of us that were injured were encouraging the others to go ahead.  They would not go.  They were part of a team and they were sticking it out with us.  It makes me cry to write about it. They didn't have to stay with us. They could have left the three of us to finish and they could have gone ahead to get a better time.  They are the definition of team members.

Due to my injury and having to walk, I was able to enjoy the sights of San Diego. There are so many things I would have missed had I been running.  We met other runners, we listened (really listened) to the bands playing, were encouraged by the cheerleaders and spectators cheering us on.  We laughed, we joked, we told stories, we cried, we encouraged each other, and we had some fun.

As we approached the last 1.2 miles, a man that we run with who is a lymphoma survivor said we started this as a team we are finishing as a team. So we ran, in a line of six, for the last part of the race and across the finish line.  I think that was one of the most memorable things for me -having those teammates that stuck with the three of us who were dealing with injuries and then crossing that finish line as a team.

This was about the journey not the destination.  As we ran and saw the people fighting cancer or the cancer survivors with signs thanking us or calling us heros, it was crystal clear what this was all about. It was about raising money to find a cure for cancer. It was about giving of yourself for others. It wasn't about a time. It wasn't about being fast. 

This has been an incredible journey. One I am sad to see end.  It is definitely a journey that will live with me forever.

14 comments:

Denise said...

that is beautiful! i love your team mates. i want to be like them in everyday life!

Lynn said...

I am so moved by this post. Congratulations on reaching the finish line...even if it was not as fast as you were hoping....YOU DID IT!!!....and that is more than most of us can say.

I was thinking of you and praying for you and COULDN'T WAIT for this post.

Short Stop said...

I'm writing throught tears because it has been such an honor to share in this journey with you. Watching you train, prepare, and now reading how your team stuck together is just incredibly inspiring.

You worked so hard for this and accomplished it - and have a lifelong story to share.

Congratulations, my friend. You should be so very proud.

Dave and Jenni said...

Oh Kristen, I totally got choked up at this post. Congratulations! What an accomplishment for a wonderful cause. And thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Earen said...

Congratulations Kristen! What an amazing accomplishment! What a wonderful team you're apart of to stick it out together. I'm really proud of you.

Leah in Iowa said...

I thought of you often yesterday, and prayed you'd make it through the day. I'm so glad you did! The experience must have been so amazing ~ I'm sure you won't forget it for years and year. Congratulations, Kristen!

joy said...

oh, kristen, how beautiful and amazing! thanks for being an inspiration and a doer of the Word.

joy said...

pushed return too soon! i'm so proud of you for taking this journey.

lindsey cheney said...

wow! great job! i'm so impressed with you and your team mates - an incredible story!

Sarah Markley said...

whoooo hooooo!

Shan said...

tears....falling..... You are amazing girl! I really am proud of you - and you had a good race time anyway! Awesome! Hope I get to see you tomorrow!

I'm Tara. said...

What an inspiration you are, Kristen! I am just all welled up at the thought of you and your teammates getting each other there to the end. Congratulations on a huge accomplishment. I'm so proud of you!!

Alana said...

Congratulations. Sounds like a beautiful moment to be part of.

Rachel Slagle said...

what an amazing story! i totally cried reading it. and congratulations!!