Friday, September 23, 2011

Not Giving Up

Last weekend Higgie and I participated in the Terry Fox Run.  This is an annual 5 and 10K fun run to raise money for cancer research which has been ongoing for the past 30 years.  Terry Fox was a young Canadian who lost his leg to bone cancer but did not give up his dream of becoming a long distance runner.  Instead, he took his dream across Canada by running on his artificial limb, beginning in St. John's, Newfoundland and ending, when ill health left him no choice, just north of Thunder Bay, near the Manitoba border.  He undertook this enormous task to raise awareness for cancer and the need for further research and funding.  He was 18 years old.  Shortly after giving up his run he died when his cancer returned.

This was the third year we have participated in this run.  Since cancer has claimed the lives of people in both our families and touched us again most recently when Higgie's dad was diagnosed with rectal cancer we feel it is a moral obligation to participate.  Here's a picture of us, post-run:

Since last weekend I've had a less-than-stellar week.  Boot camp was canceled Wednesday when my trainer injured his back, so my training has fallen behind.  I've had no more offers of work and I was turned down for unemployment insurance benefits so I'm utterly broke.  I've been feeling, if truth be told, like an abject failure.  One day this week was spent entirely in avoidance of the real world by playing computer games and napping. 

I forced myself out of the depths yesterday by bringing my mother home for lunch.  It was a perfect Fall day with lots of warm sunshine and no humidity.  I made a roaring fire in the chiminea in my backyard and Lily consented to be a lap dog for the afternoon.  I can't consider myself a failure if I am able to make one old lady this happy:

Later, yesterday afternoon I looked at ads in the local community newspaper and saw a job posting that intrigued me.  I may send out a resume today.  Here's what I've learned from running and the legacy of Terry Fox: you can't give up.  If you do, then you can't say you tried.  No one is a failure at everything.  Terry Fox didn't fail because he didn't make it all the way across Canada.  If he had stayed home and just thought about running he wouldn't be remembered in the way that he is today.  I don't expect to be remembered in the hearts of Canadians the way he is but I would like to be able to say at the end of my life (as did he, no doubt) that I never gave up. There's always something you can do, no matter how small and we all contribute.

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