Thursday, April 15, 2010

True or False: Running effects both the physical and emotional state of the body....

This month I have started tutoring high school freshman at my local school. Typically I am helping with physic's and math, but this past week a young girl asked me to help her with some health class homework. Her class was studying exercise and it's effect on the body. When we got to the above question I asked her what she thought, and without hesitation she said "False!" and moved on to the next question. And I just had to stop her and disagree, she was so surprised to hear how exercise can release stress, motivate you, clear your mind, and make you happier and more positive.
When I started chemo I had been running about 2 times a week for approximately 3 miles. And to be honest I hated it. It was hard, and boring. But this all changed with chemo. Chemo leaves you in a state of tired that no amount of sleep brings you out of. You are walking around like the living dead. Along with that for the 3 days around your treatment you are completely hopped up on steroids that you cannot sit still, let alone rest. So, to cope, I started running. Running quickly became my vise. When I got outside, I could feel the blood pumping thru my veins. In my head I could feel the chemo moving thru my blood, killing the cancer. When I sweat, I smelled of chemo. All of this made me angry, and so I ran thru the anger. The anger pushed me farther, and faster. I was angry that I had cancer. I was angry that I had lost my Dad. I was angry that my Mom had cancer. I was angry at the people who kept telling me I looked great with no hair. I was angry at the people who tried to help me, and angry at the people who didn't seem to be helping. Yet if you were close to me during this time you probably never saw me very angry. Running fixed it. Running made it better. Running made me feel alive. I was so Happy to see a sunrise, hear a bird sing, see a flower bloom. Happy to have the chance to live another day, to fight another fight, and happy to be alive. Sadly, the answer to her question was False. But she left that day with a new perspective on how running can effect your emotional well being. Anyone who runs already knows this. Running still makes it better. Two years later I am still running, and I still run to see the beautiful sunrise to make me feel grateful to live another day, happy to be alive.

I run because I can. I am still alive.

These pictures were taken in December 2007, during chemo for a Reindeer Run I did with Brad.

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