Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finding My Motivation Again

After the failed marathon attempt, I focused on recovery. I spent about one month going to physical therapy and spent the following months continuing the strengthening exercises at home. I continued to workout at the gym, but I took a much needed break from running. It was hard to go back to the gym because many of my fellow workout and running partners knew that I had been training for a marathon. So, I told my injury story over and over again, feeling defeated each time the words came out of my mouth. Who trains for a marathon but doesn't run it?

As the months turned into years, I continued to exercise and slowly began to run again. I didn't have the same motivation as I did when I signed up for the marathon in the spring of 2006 but I still valued my health and fitness so I kept chugging along. However, I had no desire to race, not even a 5k. I put in a few miles here and there, but my on and off relationship with running would continue for the next three years. And then it happened. I will never forget the day. I received a phone call from my mother that my father's prostate cancer had spread to his liver. The doctor was estimating that he only had a few more weeks to live. He had been battling prostate cancer for over 9 years. On this day, he was told that the war was coming to an end and that he no longer had to fight.

My fiance and I (who was my boyfriend at the time) immediately drove the 8-hour drive to my parents. We joined my father and my mother at the hospital that night. My father and I hugged, kissed, laughed, cried, and began to say our goodbyes. My father knew it was his time. I didn't want to believe it, but he knew it and he wanted us to have our time together. He came home a day and a half later to savor his last days of life and to try to find some peace and comfort. For the next eight and a half days, I stayed by his side (along with my family) and watched his health rapidly deteriorate until he left this earth on May 18th, 2009. My world shattered right before my eyes. I had loss the most important man in my life and it all happened so quickly. I had never before witnessed someone die. I couldn't believe how quickly his body could betray him and simply fall apart. I was truly astonished. Words can not fully describe the grief and loss that both my family and I felt and continue to feel from the loss of my father. However, it is through this loss that my life was transformed.

During my father's last few days, my urge for running suddenly emerged, much stronger and persistent than ever before. I was hesitant to leave his side, but my family convinced me that I needed to get away, even if only for a few moments. So, I managed to get in a few short runs during his last days. During those runs, I thought about every moment that my father and I shared. I thought about our joys and sorrows, victories and defeats. I played the same song over and over on my Ipod, Stay with Me. I didn't want to let him go; I couldn't imagine my life without him. It was during these moments that not only did I fall in love with my father all over again but I also rediscovered my love for running. I was determined to run again and this time, it wasn't about me, it was about my father...


  1. It's amazing how tragedy can ignite a moment of insight, relavation, and motivation to become or do something that will ultimately alter our lives forever....GO GIRL!!!!!!