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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Take Another Step

  Take another step...I wish I came up with those words myself. They were my mantra training all winter for Boston in what were often unbearable conditions...and for myself and my life schedule, often unbearable.  It's funny how 5:45am seemed early this morning for me, when for 16 weeks I would be running by 4:30am on Fridays. Take another step....

  I am a big believer in ongoing growth and self improvement...as a mother/spouse/friend, an athlete, and a professional...good is not enough for me. I don't have to be perfect, hell, I make mistakes all the time, but my daily goal is to be a better person than I was yesterday.  I may be a little too honest, too gritty for some people's liking....but I am as loyal as they come....and always open, open to learn, open to improve...open to taking another step.

  I've used social media to find those same people...striving to be better, better than they were yesterday. The people I gravitate most to are the ones that have lived through darkness and understand what that's like....To me, they exude light in a way the average cooky cutter, picket fence, picture of perfection does not. They've lived...they've had to take another step.

  I found one of these people on social media....a runner...an ultra marathoner...who beat cancer...and his words and shares, and motivation...always made me think, reflect, learn...and force me to keep moving.

  Never in a million years would I have thought I would truly understand where he was coming from. I've had plenty of dark, imperfect times myself...growing up with an alcoholic parent as a child/tween, having a mother fighting breast cancer in college....disordered eating habits when things got really dark....as a grown woman, financial times when the world crashed in 2008. I know what it is like to be in the dark, I appreciate the light...

  I started following Jim Willet and The Optimist Revolution for so many reasons...mostly because I am a runner...and running is just plain hard and when you are out there and you hit that dark mile, you need light to keep you from quitting...you need to take another step.

  And then, I was diagnosed with late stage Melamona...cancer...just like Jim, who has taken another step...many, many steps since his diagnosis...including many crazy beyond what I can wrap my head around 100+mile runs...but I get it.

  When you are stuck in this shitty world of cancer, all you want to do is take another step...literally and figuratively. Jim says it best in a verbal piece of art...that I've played over and over again...ironically, I found it right after my diagnosis.

  Where I am today...I've taken several steps forward. On September 11, 2015, I sat in Boston traffic and sobbed because for the first time since my initial diagnosis, I had just left an optimistic appointment with my oncologist. The spot on the lung they've been watching is gone. My bloodwork is "perfect" as he put it. Nothing to indicate any sign of disease...of cancer. Granted, I'll be back in 6 weeks....but for now, one more step in the "training" log....

  Running wise, I've just started to feel my speed start to pick up...I might even be ready to charge up the Garmin and start holding myself accountable. I'm nowhere near where I was before my diagnosis...but I've taken another step...many, many steps in miles to get there.

  I've traveled where I hope people I love never have to go...in fact, I wouldn't wish this on anyone...but with it, I am learning every single day...that no matter what happens with this disease...no matter where I end up in my running...I am doing just fine...as long as I continue to take another step...

  "You shoot me down, But I won't fall"...

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