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Finish Lines

I am not an athlete, never have been, never will be. I can play a mean game of table tennis and badminton. Hey, they count!

When I was in school, I did not like phy ed class – at all! Often the phy ed teacher allowed captains to pick their teams. Luckily, I had good friends who chose me despite my inability to spike a volley ball, hit a home run, (OK hit the ball at all) score a goal, jump a hurdle… you get the picture. I observed the few others, who like me, lacked ability, but also lacked friends.

That’s why when I was teaching, I rarely allowed kids to choose teams for anything. I remembered what it was like to lack skills the team needed. I remembered what it felt like to be chosen only because your friends liked you.  

On Saturday when I completed my 10K, crossed the finish line and was handed my medal, I sort of felt like an athlete, or at least what I always imagined it might feel like to be one. 

The morning started out with less than a perfect weather forecast, just like last year. There was an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms. The air was heavy with humidity and unsettled looking clouds continued to make their presence and unpredictability known.

While we were walking, I kept thinking back to last year. My husband keeps telling me to not look back, but I do. I can’t help myself.  

During the walk I couldn’t stop thinking about last year at this time and where I was at in this cancer gig, which was facing my bilateral and a whole lot more. With the anniversary of that day approaching, I was reminded of how far I have come.

I know there is still a future filled with uncertainty for me. Although uncertainty is always lurking in the background, I am trying to regain my footing. I am trying to regain control in my life.

Participating in this event was part of regaining some of that control. There were 20,000 people participating; some in the 5K, some in the half-marathon, most in the 10K and, not surprisingly, the fewest in the actual marathon itself. Watching all the other participants, I couldn’t help but wonder what motivated them. I couldn’t help but wonder what their untold stories were.

Once again, it felt good to be part of a large crowd. It felt good to blend in. It felt good to be unknown. It felt good to be part of something where no one looked at me and thought of cancer.

The event was quite festive. Many residents came out of their houses on this Saturday morning to watch and cheer on walkers and runners. There were bands playing. There were cheerleaders jumping and shouting. There was a dome filled with spectators and announcers at the finish line. Granted, most of this fanfare was intended for the marathon runners, but they enthusiastically cheered on the more lowly participants as well.

Fortunately, the rain and thunderstorms did not materialize. My husband and I walked the entire 6.2 miles and crossed the finish line. We set no records. Actually, our time was slower than last year. We didn’t care. We only cared about being there. We only cared about finishing.

Life is full of many different kinds of  “finish lines.” I intend to cross many more of them.

Note:  Amazing daughter crossed a finish line of her own, completing the full marathon in less than five hours!

What is one finish line you successfully crossed?

What kind of “athlete” are/were you?






Sunday 12th of June 2011

When I first read the title I somehow thought it was 10 million $s. That shows how much I keep up on athelitic things. ha. I identified with your comments on PE. Me too. I'm impressed with you and David's accomplishment. And hurrah for your daughter too.


Sunday 12th of June 2011

Betty, Yes, that's pretty funny thinking a 10K is about money! Good one! Well, I guess it is for the winner... Thanks for your supportive comments. We did feel good about just being there and finishing and Lindsay felt good about completing the whole marathon, something I cannot even fathom actually doing myself.

Ana Marie

Wednesday 8th of June 2011

way to go!!!!!


Wednesday 8th of June 2011

Ana Marie, Thanks for reading and commenting, I appreciate your cheer!


Sunday 29th of May 2011

Wow, a 10k. That is very impressive. I was always the kid picked last, no athletic skills whatsoever. My oncologist said that chemo is sometimes harder on athletes so I guess it paid off for me! :)

Unfortunately, I know for me that there is going to be a finish line. I hope it's a few years away and there are a few things I want to do before I cross it. I'm trying very hard not to squint at it right now.

Maybe I should get on that exercise bike I bought. :)


Monday 30th of May 2011

But Doctor I Hate Pink, Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate it especially knowing what you have been going through of late. It's nice to hear from another non-athlete! Yes, you do indeed have many more finish lines to cross! Don't ever forget there are many of us out here who care and are in your corner. I hope knowing that helps a little bit.

Philippa (Feisty Blue Gecko)

Saturday 28th of May 2011

Oh Nancy I so get this! What a great post.

Yes, there are so many finish lines - the one I found most difficult to cross, was probably (ironically) the start of chemo. I was so scared, and could just not imagine being on the other side of it.

Now, a year and a half later, each Landmark day is its own finish line too, a step forward. Thinking of you on your bilateral anniversary and sending a warm hug P x


Saturday 28th of May 2011

Philippa, Thank you for commenting. I think you and I have much in common. Like you, I also greatly feared chemo and at the time that particular finish line seemed far away. I think you are right about each day having its own finish line. Thanks for the warm regards about that upcoming anniversary date, not quite sure how I feel about it yet.

Julie Goodale

Saturday 28th of May 2011

Yea for you - I'm so glad you did this! It's just the beginning....


Saturday 28th of May 2011

Julie, Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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