Never Take a Day of Running for Granted
by Serena Burla on March 6, 2012
Years ago my Aunt Chris told me to never take a day of running for granted. I think it was shortly after I accompanied her to her doctor’s appointment where she received a scan and walked home with images of a knee that doctors would say should/would never run again. I remember the tears and the sadness. My Aunt had been and always will be my running idol. I remember her kicking my butt on runs when I visited her in Colorado. Everyone she met wanted to run with her because she was so inspiring and just a wonderful person. I remember Chris telling me when she taught in Ecuador she would have to wear jean shorts instead of running attire if she wanted to get a faster paced run in, otherwise the whole village would come join her. She had a great motor and was just so tough. She had this rawness about her that I try to emulate. In any case, her career was cut short and although I know Chris still runs some and can hike up those Colorado fourteeners like they are nothing, I know there is unsettled business. Therefore, her life lesson has a strong grasp on me.
Many of you know that two years ago I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, and I was the one sitting with the scans that questioned my life, and since it was in my biceps femoris, my ability to run again. Once I knew the cancer had not spread beyond the tumor, I underwent surgery to remove both the tumor and a cancer free margin. I remember Chris’ call in disbelief that running may have been taken from me too. She didn’t realize that by telling me to never take a day of running for granted, I hadn’t. I had no regrets. Of course I still prayed that I would at least be able to run to keep up with Boyd, or that maybe I could be a jogger. Who would have known that God had other plans? I truly believe that it’s a miracle that I can still run. Celebrating being cancer free for 2 years on Monday February 27th, I want to pass on the message to never take a day of life for granted, and if you have the ability to run, never take a day of running for granted either.
Earlier this week I was reminded of this lesson once again. I have always loved the fact that most children can run so freely. It is their means of transportation and they love to run. We often joke that running is the only way Boyd moves. Quick bursts from here to there; it’s so natural. If you have ever taught young children in the classroom, the moment you open the door for outside time/recess they cheer and run. When I taught, it was a moment I looked forward to every day. This week we ended up in the Emergency room and then the hospital for three days with Boyd. What started as an ear infection and strep turned into questioning that something else was wrong. When Boyd started furniture walking and took only two steps before stopping and saying it hurt, we knew it was time to take him in. He could hardly move. I prayed that the doctors would figure out what was wrong and that the treatment would return Boyd to his normal self. Boyd had Kawasaki disease and fortunately, responded well to the treatment. Chasing Boyd around the room trying to keep up with his IV pole our final night in the hospital was one of the happiest moments of my life.
Running is a gift. Appreciate it; share it with those in your life. Go lace up, put one foot in front of the other, do a mile for someone who can’t, and never take a run for granted.