When I sit back and really think about the legacy I want to leave in this world, I automatically think of two things. 1) I want my kids to know I always tried to do my best and 2) I want everyone to know that nothing good I have ever done came from me. The result of those thoughts tonight, prompted this blog entry.
I've gotten criticism/concern in the past about my participation in the Susan G Komen 3-Day. Some of it is legitimate and relates directly to what I am going to share with you. Some of it is just plain hurtful, like when it was said that my place was at home with my kids and not out participating in these types of events. And some was toward the organization itself. I am not going to take the time in this blog to discuss the second or third types of concern or criticism. But I am going to share about the first, because what happened this year was nothing short of a miracle - and I need you to know that.
I've participated in four 3-Day events. Two being in Philly, and two being in Tampa Bay. In 2010 I walked in Philly and injured myself. The route there is tough, with a lot of hills. I trained hard that year and was completely disappointed when I had to pull myself off the route or risk being red carded and unable to walk into closing (for those who aren't aware, a red card=removal from the event for reasons of health). I finished the 3 days with bursitis on my right hip and a sprained IT band. I don't blame the event for this injury, I blame myself. I didn't stop when I should have - pride got in the way. I committed to having a new attitude in 2011, and tried to just accept my physical limitations. I signed up to do Tampa Bay with the understanding that I wouldn't be able to train as I had in the past, and that I would have to be ok with not walking 60 miles. It was a goal I had to give up.
Shortly before this years walk I got a phone call that my Aunt, a 10 year survivor, was in the hospital with congestive heart failure and her prognosis wasn't good. It scared me. I didn't want to think about my life without her. She told me that she shared with the Dr that she had to get better, because she HAD to get to the 3-Day and cheer on the walkers, and her niece. And she did. Three weeks before the walk I fell and injured my tailbone and spine. An xray showed that I had osteoarthritis in both of my hips and my spine, as well as disk deterioration - the disease had progressed. Two weeks before the walk I had a suspicious spot removed from my back, and one day before the walk I learned that this spot was precancerous. When I arrived in Tampa Bay I had given up any hope that this year would be anything amazing - I admitted defeat.
And then something happened.
I walked 60 miles.
I am not sure about a lot of things, but I am 100% positive that God set before me everything I would need to complete this task. The Medical Crew that knew exactly the treatment I needed at just the right time, the Safety Crew that said just the right thing when I needed to hear it, the cheerleaders who stayed to cheer us on even when we were last, the Pit, Sweep and Camp crews who encouraged and supported me, My family who poured out love on me, strangers who hugged me, survivors who inspired me, the church that had its service along the route, my team that never left me, and my daughter who motivated me to just keep going. I didn't complete this walk in my own strength, I am far too damaged and broken. I finished because God carried me the entire way and he used those around me to ensure that I finished the task set before me.
I shouldn't have made it more then 5 miles. I should have ended up with debilitating pain. I should have failed in my mission. But I didn't.
And that... is a miracle.
Thank you to those who loved me, encouraged me, and supported me - and continue to. It means so much more to me then you will ever know. To the various crews and to those who walked with me, your passion and willingness to fight so hard for something is inspiring - never give up.