I have been asked many times when did you start running? Every runner has a story, here is mine:
It was 2003; I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on October 9th. My ex-wife and I were scheduled to go to Chicago that particular weekend for the wedding of a good friend of ours. It was a Friday afternoon hen my doctor called home (how often a doctor calls your house with good news huh?). He said, we found a mass in your brain (after an MRI taken that morning), thus you have an appointment to see a neurosurgeon Monday morning. I was like, What the FUcK!! A mass in my brain? What did that mean? A tumor? OMG.. My ex-wife started to cry like crazy and I just went in shock, I could not believe it. It is one of those things that might happen to everybody else, but you really don’t realize what it really means until it happens to you.
So that particular Friday we decided to go to Chicago anyway. There wasn’t anything we could do for the weekend and staying home would have been horrible, so we went. We drove to Chicago from Midland Michigan (where we used to live) and made it to the rehearsal dinner. My ex was obviously very distressed and I, well I was sad and afraid, very scared. The very next day (Saturday) we went to the wedding, and we tried to have a good time. In fact I danced the night away and we laughed and tried to forget the fact that I had a fucking abnormal mass in the middle of my head. But the night went well, after the wedding we went back to our hotel and went to sleep.
The next morning, we woke up and I knew that the Chicago Marathon was being run that particular day and I asked my ex to go and see the marathon. We went to the finish area and it was amazing to see the elite runners finishing in amazing time. As the hours went by more and more people started to cross the finish line. I could see people crying and becoming all emotional as they crossed the finish line. I noticed that many runners had little signs in their shirts. “Cancer survivor”, “survivor”, “breast cancer survivor”, etc, etc. It was inspirational, so I turned to my ex and I told her, “Hey, look at that” pointing at the people wearing those signs and I added “Next year I want to run this marathon”. She started to sob and said, “Oh My God, you don’t even know if you are going to be alive next year, what are you saying is crazy?”. I replied, “Yes next year I want to run this marathon and you are running it with me”. She looked at me like I was crazy, and then a sparkle illuminated her eyes and she said “it is a deal, lets do it”.
After two brain surgeries, an incredible amount of physical therapy to relearn basic skills such as the ability to drive, write, even pee, we started training. For me was a very painful journey. I had never run more than 5 miles let alone a full marathon. But we stuck to our promise and we started to train, and on October 10th 2004, I and my ex-wife were among 40,000 other runners to start the Chicago marathon.
That day, my first marathon, was the beginning of a new life for me, the beginning of my life as a runner wannabe. I survived my tumor, my marriage did not. And then came to California and discovered PCTR and the great smile of Sarah, and of course my best running buddy, Janet, and the rest is history.
So that was my story, what is yours?