Exactly two days ago I got some amazing news at a perfect time!! I was chosen along with a group of AMAZING runners, and supporters to be a 2014 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador!!!! While I’m not 100% sure what this means yet, the timing was still perfect. I’ve been a little down after my grandpa died a few weeks ago, and found out that my grandma is suffering from a broken heart and rapidly declining in health. But this news was not only adding some light back into my life, it was inspiring me!
I applied to be a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador on a whim. I was stalking the website for the race, and found the link for the previous ambassadors and I thought “what the hell, the worst they can say is no, but at least someone there gets to know how awesome I feel about that place, and that race.” So I applied… And two months later…. I got an email that said “you will need to start training for the 2014 San Francisco Marathon.” I jumped up and down for about five minutes!!! I’ve spent the last two days since receiving that email writing and glowing and reading about this amazing group of people who’s energy I can feel through their posts and through their writing. I am so beyond excited to be part of this team, and can’t wait to meet them all, and run this amazing race…
This is my story: The best ideas come from a moment of inspiration, and in my case my most insane ideas come while drinking my morning coffee(like this post). I forget the exact details of how I came across the idea of running the San Francisco Marathon, but I remember surfing the web one day (over that damn cup of coffee), my eyes light up, I leaned in to read a little more… and then I said [to my boyfriend] “I want this sweater… wanna run the SF Marathon?” and after he unwittingly agreed, I dropped the caveat .. “it is going to be a three year commitment!” What I saw in this genius moment was a plain grey sweater engraved with the number “52.4.” That’s it, “52.4″ and I had to have it! INSANE right!?!
Before that moment I had only run after ice cream trucks since my high school track & cross country days, which was.. umm 12 years ago so it’s not like I had the running gene or the running bug keeping me active. In fact, eating was always my sport. But this sweater was just something I had to have! It came at a great time, because it wrangled my friend Josie and I into an annual commitment to run together in a wonderful city like San Francisco, it made my boyfriend and I get active and Enk(our dog) loves us for it. I started training hardcore.. running 13 miles with Enk all over Hawaii, and signing up for all the races I could. I subscribed to Running magazine, started reading about technique, diet and all that garb. I lost nine toe nails at one point, but I was ready… I was a running machine!! Then in November of last year, I went in for an exam and found that I had stage 3 cervical cancer. That coupled with my other “disabilities” (aside from the crazy coffee thing) I was a little scared and kept it all a secret from most everyone. Come to find, after more testing, millions of doctor visits and a whole crap ton of medical bills, I also carry the BRCA genes and need a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy, and I was only 32 years old at the time.
Through it tho, that damn sweater kept me going. I had surgery, and they cut out the cancer, I’ve put the BRCA related things on hold to deal with other health issues that are more pressing and I’ve changed my perspective on life. When all this first came up in my life, I was ashamed and scared. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want their pity(I had enough of that when I became an orphan), or for them to treat me with “kid gloves.” I was still the same person, I’ve just hit a different kind of bump in the road; it wasn’t like I had leprosy. And truth be told if anyone treated me different I would have probably broke down and lost it.
I realized the other day the feeling of shame I had were like those of the girls on SVU who got raped and then were told it was their fault. But I changed that, not only because of the love and support from the best boyfriend ever, but because I kept running. I’m not the fastest, I don’t have the best form, and truth be told I’m lazy and make all the excuses in the world to NOT run. But I finish. I cross the finish line every time, and during my runs I run until I have nothing left. I cheer on runners, and give high-fives (yes..I’m that person) along my path, and I push because if I can survive this life, I can survive 13.1, 15.5, 18.6, or 26.2.
This year and this ambassadorship(sounds so fancy.. like President, haha) is the big year. I’ve run everything under 26.2 but the 2014 San Francisco Marathon will be my first 26.2. It’s my favorite course, my favorite city, filled with my favorite weather and amazing people… So if you aren’t doing anything on July 27th, or need an excuse to drive or scream, or make a poster that says “GO BACON GO” you know where I’ll be and where we can meet… at the FINISH LINE!!!