Monday, August 17, 2015

Join Me (Walking) in the Race for the Cure

Being part of the Race for the Cure was not on my agenda going into summer. No race was, honestly. And it isn’t because I have anything against them, but because I break out in hives when I run outdoors in combination with the unpredictable temperatures + humidity playing games my asthma creating a risky experience.

And then Miss Amanda and Miss Emily posted a picture to the BritZa Facebook page inviting people to be part of their 5K.

I wanted to do it.

Therese Marlette wrecked me.

I went into this Brave year knowing my first call for courage would be the dancing out of the mother/daughter class I wrote. I imagined mothers carving out time with their girls to connect on issues real to an elementary girl’s heart. But would they come?

Within ten minutes of posting the class Miss Amanda called with my first sign up. Therese Marlette and her sweet girl, Corissa. Therese had recently gone in for her baseline mammogram only to walk away fighting for her life. My class was going to be her special time with her girl.

I cried. Because it’s what I do. And I stood in amazement as she came each week, in the throws of breast cancer treatment – smiling, laughing, and moving with her girl. The week covering “inner beauty” I saw tears fall in their private discussion and I wondered if she knew the beauty I saw. Her bright smile, fortitude, and choice to live love a stunning combination that inspired all of us.

Photo credit Joe Ahlquist & permission to post via Argus Leader. 
See more of his lovely photos & read full article on the class here

The Saturday Therese walked in and said, “I had radiation all day yesterday and all I could think was ‘tomorrow I get to dance with Corissa,’” I stood speechless with unveiled understanding of what this dance class was. More than what I envisioned for others. More than I envisioned even for me.

Hives wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the discomforts people battling cancer face. If I was going to have an asthma issue at a race this would probably be the best one, right? It’s with one of the local hospitals. Doctors will be everywhere.

I started to question my solid “no running outside” rule because this opportunity seemed like the perfect honorarium to Therese and exclamation point to her CLEAR MAMMOGRAM. Happy dance!!!!

How much would I be risking? Could I do it?

I went to Bible Study and shared my struggle. “No. There are other ways to show your support than risking your health. And if you do do it bring an EpiPen,” a dear friend, Yvonne, piped in. She’s vested as both a breast cancer survivor and OB who has cared for me in good and very tenuous days of pregnancy. Her educated words jarred me. Her awareness of my headstrong personality made me chuckle.

I do my best thinking in the shower. And the next morning as the water poured down on me God’s message hit my soul-

This has NOTHING to do with you, I sensed. QUIT making this an all or nothing based on your ability to run and put your focus where it belongs.

God can be bossy like that.

Therese, my doctor friend, and others that I love and you love are moved by support. It’s the communal visual and awareness that you care. Not which path you take.

So, I will be representing Twirling for Ta Ta’s on the one mile WALKING course. Fun has ballooned because what was once going to be my race alone now includes others. My husband and three children as well as my mother will be joining me and if you are from the Sioux Falls area I invite you to do the same (Sunday September 27). If you can’t be there but wish to donate financial support you can do that too.

I LOVE Miss Amanda and Miss Emily’s open invitation. It highlights the “come be your best and bless others” spirit that epitomizes BritZa Studios. Jill Callison’s newspaper story on them so beautifully articulates that. Whether you walk or run doesn’t matter. Together we can show we care.

xx Melissa

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