Day 28: 5 km in honour of Terry Fox & others affected by cancer.

What a beautiful day! There was a superb turn-out to support the Terry Fox Run “Marathon of Hope” – 32 years strong. It was great to run 5 km with one of my good friends (who, by the way, had been at a wedding the night before and STILL showed up this morning!)

It was hard not to be moved by everything that was going on – there was no doubt that each person who attended had in some way been affected by cancer. The energy outside from the Calgary Stampede stage to registration at Eau Claire market was amazing; there were teams of runners dressed in costumes, others wearing t-shirts with photos of loved ones and lots of us with bibs in honour of friends and family.There was a special memory board in which you could write a little note to those who have passed. To say I made it through the run with dry eyes would be a lie. It really puts life into perspective: the first wealth is health. Hearing of babies as young as six weeks that are going through cancer treatment is heartbreaking. But knowing that so far we’ve raised over $600 million to find a cure brings true hope. I saw a little girl with the words “faith, hope and courage” painted on her face; I thought that was pretty profound for a child who was probably not older than ten. Another boy who was running for his brother and some young kids running for their dad. Boy, it makes me teary eyed just remembering it all!

And the run itself was lovely. We ran through part of the city and then back through Prince’s Island Park. The temperature was just perfect and I felt really strong in my pace. I finally got to run across the Veterans Bridge – it was super cool! I don’t think I have ever run anything as neat. I can see now why people fought so hard to add it to the downtown landscape. About half way through I realized that the chafing from yesterdays run wasn’t going to be outdone by vaseline. It was painful! However, I reminded myself that Terry ran a marathon a day; through the shittiest of weather and battled conditions much worse than that. So I sucked it up and kept going; I would take a picture to show how crappy the chafing was, but I have concerns of posting that picture online – hah! I wore a special shirt today as well – I put some quotes from Terry on it. It was inspired by a shirt I saw someone wearing on the trail yesterday. Of course, the one I saw said, “How do I look from back there” (I was obviously following) so I figured that if I was moving quick enough and possibly had other runners behind me, wouldn’t it be cool for them to read something a little more inspiring? I had a few comments like “cool shirt!” – so I thought it was a success. Oh and *200 is the average number of Canadians who pass each day from cancer; *500 is the average number of Canadians who are diagnosed daily with cancer. Pretty startling…

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” – A.A. Milne

I snapped a lot more pictures today than I normally do for a run. Hope you enjoy them! The last picture is of me and Sue at the end of the race. We both had personal bests! And Kudos to Susan who raised over $650 for the foundation. Awesome job, wedgie! And THANK YOU to the foundation and the countless volunteers who continue to put this event on year -after-year. It always amazes me how much can be accomplished when we work together.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh

Life is too short to be anything but happy.

If you don’t know me, you don’t know that I love quotes. That I pretty much started every paper I wrote throughout university with a quote. People make fun of me and my quotes, but I truly find inspiration in the people behind them. I’m not one of those people who randomly google search quotes just for the sake of putting them out there. I like to know what’s what and who’s who. Needless to say that on this journey I’m on, I am in constant need of inspiration and motivation – so I turn to people (and quotes.)

Take for example, Nick Vujicic – an amazing individual. He was born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, which in simple terms means he does not have any of the four limbs. He’s given motivational speeches worldwide; discussing hope and life. He has done more in his young life than most do in a lifetime. I love everything he says.

Or Jonny Kennedy. I can barely type his name without getting weepy-eyed. Several years ago I watched a documentary called “The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off” (click to catch it on YouTube) It was one of the single most moving documentaries I have ever seen. His sense of humour in the face of a not-so-bright future has always stuck with me. My favourite part is him talking about the Heinz ketchup bottle – I challenge you to watch this and not be moved.

 I’d be remiss if I left out one of my favourite athletes, Rick Hansen. Almost a year ago I had the honour and privilege of participating in the 25th Anniversary Relay. Even more so, participating with my cousin, Brenda. What a time! Rick embodies what it means to be a productive community member, leader and athlete. He continues to inspire.

Finally, Terry Fox.  He needs no introduction. He ran 3,339 miles in 143 days to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. He was amazing, believed in miracles and continues to inspire hundreds of thousands today. Though he passed away before I was even born, he remains one of my idols. I continue to think of him when I feel sorry for myself. I think of his positive attitude and determination as he looked death in the face and challenged cancer. How can I be worried about the small, insignificant things?

So here’s a challenge: stop taking life for granted. Enjoy every day. Take advantage of good health. If you’re still breathing, life’s pretty darn good.

Below are my favourite quotes of all time. I hope they inspire you like they inspire me.

“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again” – Nick Vujicic

“Nothing lasts forever, so live it up, drink it down, avoid the bullshit, take chances and never regret because at one point it was what you wanted.”

I think I’ll be bored if the angels sit about on clouds plucking their harps all day. I’ll be up there, getting them off their clouds, doing drops of 1,000 feet and then pulling up. I think you need to spice things up a bit. – Jonny Kennedy

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” e.e. cummings

“Laugh your heart out, dance in the rain
Cherish the memories, ignore the pain
Love and learn, forget and forgive
Because remember, you only have one life to live.”

“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela

“The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break.”-Rick Hansen

“Life isn’t about having, it’s about being. You could surround yourself with all that money can buy, and you’d still be as miserable as a human can be. I know people with perfect bodies who don’t have half the happiness I’ve found. On my journeys I’ve seen more joy in the slums of Mumbai and the orphanages of Africa than in wealthy gated communities and on sprawling estates worth millions. Why is that? You’ll find contentment when your talents and passion are completely engaged, in full force. Recognise instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest clothes or the hottest car. The if I just had X, I would be happy syndrome is a mass delusion. When you look for happiness in mere objects, they are never enough. Look around. Look within.”  – Nick Vujicic

I know that you can do the impossible.” – Terry Fox