Cancer is a vicious criminal. Stealing days, months, years and possibly cutting short an otherwise health life. Recently a local multisport coach, nonsmoker and avid runner was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Knowing that a nonsmoking avid runner could get this disease really hit home.
I read Lance Armstrong’s book It’s Not About the Bike years ago at the recommendation of an avid runner/bicyclist mainly to see how he went from triathlete to the world’s most famous endurance athlete. The cancer part struck a chord since my Aunt had recently passed from cancer and one of my rugby teammates has been living in remission for the last 20 years. The disconnect for me has been I am healthy, eat well most of the time and am an avid runner, so lung cancer is out of the question, right?
We can do the right or wrong things and life still remains random in many ways. My step grandparents lived very different lives together. My grandfather who I only knew for a few shorts years was a nondrinker and nonsmoker, who died of a heart attack relatively young age. My grandmother was a heavy smoker and drinker and out lived him by 30 years.
We can do all the right things and still not be out of the woods. What we as runners can do is raise money for cancer research. Team in Training www.teamintraining.org is one popular group that offers training plans and fund-raising. TEAM Duke http://www.teamduke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=training_ is a similar group that I have promoted at races yet I will admit I have been lacking on the fund-raising side. We all have room for improvement.
This is a start.