Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mile Marker: A Decision to Do

Eventually, all of us experience a moment of reckoning or revelation, wherein the result is a compelling, unavoidable need to do something more -- to do something good. For me, one such moment occurred on December 31, 2009, right around 2:30 in the afternoon.

It was a cold, brisk day in Norfolk, Virginia. I gripped the wheel of my car as I sat in a parking lot near a large hospital. I was giggling and giddy, light-headed with relief and excitement. All of my senses were keener than just a few hours before. The winter air smelled sweet and crisp, warm beams of sunlight shimmered through the windshield, and all about, despite the hospital setting, people bustled with energy and purpose. So intense was my excitement and relief, that I struggled to maintain composure, repeatedly whispering, "Thank you, God." I had been dealt another chance -- delivered from the depths of coronary artery disease. My cardiologist's glowing report was not what I had expected. After all, I spent the last two years or so being very practical and controlled, getting my personal affairs in order . . . getting ready for "the big one."

Over the next several days, I marveled over and over at the gift I'd been given. I considered this chance, this extra chance at life that I'd so feared would not come. Instead, I had an extra chance to do something that matters . . . but what? In whose shoes should I walk a mile to collect the enlightenment needed to make a difference?

It seems there are so many things that matter. It's always been torturous for me to decide how and where to give back in return for all of the blessings I've received in this life. If one is to embrace a cause, to devote precious time and energy in quantities that provoke change, how in the world does one choose between wiping out hunger or illiteracy, curing cancer or juvenile diabetes, increasing awareness for the prevention of child abuse or homelessness. . . or hundreds of other local, national and international needs and causes? In the end, I can't choose. Yet, there was a revelation contained within my reckoning. I don't have to choose. There is a method to devote time and energy in quantities that give back and provoke change for a number of things that matter.

For 2010, I vow to go a mile -- no, I vow to train and run (more accurately, jog or slog) 5K events for at least six different causes. This proposition may not sound like much to some, but now that I have fully recovered from surgeries on both of my legs and my heart, it will be quite an exhilarating experience for me.

As I select and identify each cause, I ask each reader to post here the name of an affected friend or loved one, along with a note about that person's positive impact in your life. Besides being tremendously inspirational, this will allow me to devote these running activities to the honor or memory of specific individuals. Each blog also will provide links or other information required for donating to the particular cause at hand, but there will be no obligation to do so, nor will I keep any accounting of that.

So, for all those who've done something good, whose honor, courage, perseverance, or kindness has left a positive mark on you -- though their shoes can never be filled, here's to the next mile in them!


  1. I'm a breast cancer survivor of five years but would love to mention my dear departed friend and bc sister Sue Michener who passed in August '08, only two years after her initial diagnosis.
    Sue was a born commidiene, she posted on the komen message boards and kept us all entertained while undergoing chemo, radiation etc...
    She was not only a dear friend but a positive force in my life and many other's, I'd love you to honour her by having her name on your shirt when you do your komen walk.:)
    Tricia x

  2. Tricia, thank you so much for the comment!

    It will be my privilege to have Sue's name with me at the finish line! I will race for a cure as if I am running for my own life. Thank you for the contribution!

    Also, if you see this message, please consider sending me your email address. I'd be honored to write a tribute to YOU, too!


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