Despite my suffering, I felt the need to run in a race I had signed up for many months ago -
The Nike Women's Marathon.
I was only signed up to run the half marathon, but the sneezing, hacking, coughing and aching made me question (only momentarily) the intelligence of such an endeavor. There was no choice in the matter. I must do the race, and I must finish - at all costs. Why the steadfast determination you ask. Is it the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat? Is it my iron clad will and never give up spirit? No, of course not, it is that all the finishers receive a Tiffany necklace.
I must get my Tiffany necklace!!!! I must!!! The race must go on at all costs.
My unrelenting need to do this race at all costs for a Tiffany necklace jeopardizing health and comfort made me think. Maybe if I had offered our former pre-school director Cruella a Tiffany necklace if she was able to keep my son safe for the school year, she would have made more of an effort to take some necessary precautions. Perhaps if we offered all the parents who feel their children must have peanut butter for lunch a special Tiffany necklace at the end of the school year if they could find a way to send in something other then peanut products with little Johnny they would figure out a way. Maybe handing out Tiffany necklaces would motivate all those ignorant people to learn about ways to help keep our children safe. Maybe....
I made my way up to San Francisco yesterday, and made my way through the race. The race is a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society, and many of the runners were there to raise money and honor those with these cancers. Lots of runners had stories on the back of their shirts about those close to them who had battled or where battling the diseases. One woman who I was behind for much of the race had a picture of her 5 year old son on her back and I asked her about her son. Apparently he had passed away last year from Leukemia, and although she had never run before, she was doing the entire 26.2 miles in his honor and to raise money to help cure Leukemia. Another woman was running in honor of her 3 year old son who was battling cancer now. There were people paying homage to parents, brothers, children and friends. There were survivors, running to give hope to others who where not sure they were going to survive.
So, in the end, this race was not really about the Tiffany necklace after all. Instead it was a reminder to me that heroes come in all different shapes and sizes, and rarely do they actually wear a cape. (although one woman did :)) I made it to the end, and am proudly wearing my Tiffany necklace. But now, it means much more to me then just a cool necklace - it commemorates all the heroes out there yesterday running a marathon of more then just miles.