So, I have kind of been off the radar for a while. Not by choice, of course, but nonetheless, not doing the one thing that I love to do….running! As 2010 quickly approaches, I have made many lists and these lists do not involve what I am going to be giving to others. It may sound kind of selfish, but it is what I am going to for myself. So, yes, they are long lists of New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe I should call it the list of New Year’s Revelations! This past year has brought me many changes. I have changed both physically and mentally. There have been many things that I have had to endure and most of them not pleasant. I took this year off mainly because I had to start a pretty intense chemotherapy regimen and rather than set myself up for the expectation and then disappointment, I decided it would be in my best interest if I just took a year off and became a “super-spirit cheerleader” for Team McGraw!! I guess I could say I gained perspective, meaning and purpose but, in reality, I gained fight, desire and will power. These were things that I always had but you know the phrase…”you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…..”. But, I have to boast, I still managed to run a half. Without any training. Maybe not a good idea but I still needed to feel wanted by the road. I wanted to make sure my running shoes still liked me. They did in case you were wondering. Well, the good news is that I have stopped that crummy chemo that placed me into a state of confusion, disarray and discombobulation. And yes, the meaning that I have found was that BABY I WAS BORN TO RUN!!! The 2009 Chicago Marathon sent me reeling. I have never had the opportunity to see elite runners float by me with effortless determination. Or witness someone hitting the wall, faces distraught by anguish and fatigue. I have never been on the other side of the line…..that being the spectator side. I have always been on the course, thus not being witness to the craziness a marathon brings. I walked up to Coach Kevin Leathers on that beautiful October day in Chicago and told him that this was never going to happen again. I vowed to him and to myself that I would never be on that side again. That spectator side is not me and never will be me. I continue to fight a brain tumor but I continue to live. And living for me is running. I am not living if I am not running….end of story. As this year ends and I close the book on this dreadful year of lack of running, I look forward to mile after mile after mile. Followed by blister after blister after blister! Many of my friends, including my husband, hit their PR in Chicago this year. It was a beautiful day. I have to admit, the only thing missing was me. I lost most of my hair from the chemo this past year. My wardrobe essential was a baseball hat or (unfortunately) a wig. And as my hair starts to come back in (albeit crazy and a big mess) I have placed a running cap on my night stand to remind me that I can do this, with hair or without. By no means am I out of the woods as I battle this silly brain tumor. I still have a chemo pill I take every night and an IV that I have a date with every two weeks. But with careful anticipation I look forward to sharing running stories with my team as I hit the road and don’t look back! My goal is Chicago 2010. I may not be the fastest runner out there but I know that I will have the most heart, the most will, and the most fight. I run with a team on a mission. That mission is to improve the quality of life for people with brain tumors. I run because, at the end of the day, my quality of life couldn’t get any better than me, Team McGraw, the road, a timing chip and an endless line of spectators. It gives me the best opportunity to tell these spectators that “it is always better on the other side!” And so it begins……… JENNY’S GOT HER GROOVE BACK!
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