"The Love of Running
By: Jackie Clark
Every year I run. I keep going until my lungs are burning and my legs feel like concrete blocks. I take every last gasping breath until I reach the finish line. Then I breathe deep…it’s exhilarating, it keeps me healthy and it makes a positive impact on the life of someone on their race against time with cancer. I have run the ING New York City Marathon, the Beijing Marathon, and the Virgin London Marathon: This is where I met my husband.
The London marathon was my first race. I was in Europe visiting an old college friend and decided to go for it. I was an active girl. I ate healthy and I exercised every day. True, a marathon was long, very long. But I was certain I could do it. On the day of the race I was inspired by how many people were there from all over the world. The race began and nowhere near the middle I was tripping over my feet and desperate to stop. I was completely discouraged. I knew I would be letting down all the people who had pledged to support my run, and most of all, those who could have been helped with the funds. I was also letting myself down, but I just couldn’t go on. That evening I nursed my disappointment with a drink at a nearby café. I guess I must have looked miserable enough for one of the other patrons to make his way over. I wasn’t excited to talk but I noticed his shirt had the marathon logo in front, so I asked if he’d run the marathon. He said he did and I wanted to know just how he made it to the end.
I learned so much from my new friend who was a mesothelioma PA that ran the marathon every year. He had worked with mesothelioma doctors and patients for years and assured me that his job was not simply to try to treat their disease, but to inspire them with hope to keep going. And that’s just what he did for me! We decided to keep in touch after I flew back and we went on a training plan together. The next year I flew to London again and we ran the race together. It was the most rewarding experience of my life, knowing that I, and all the other people there were not only challenging our bodies to health, but were sending a message of hope to those with cancer to keep going. At the finish line my friend dropped to his knees and pulled out a wedding ring. Will you run the race of life with me? I haven’t stopped running since."
Thank you so much Jackie for providing our readers with a great guest post! Hope you all enjoyed Jackie's post. She has done several other guests posts in the runner blogger world so keep an eye out for some of other other wonderful guest posts!