A very close friend of ours is in the middle of a marathon none of us would choose to run, one to save his life. He was diagnosed with a hideous type of tongue-throat cancer that involves an aggressive treatment and difficult recovery period. He is getting to the end of the treatment phase and is experiencing the “normal” but horrible side effects expected and if I could guess what running a marathon was like, would guess he is at the throw in the towel phase or ” I am sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Luckily his “ground crew” has run this marathon herself. Yes, his wife had liver cancer followed by a liver transplant over 10 yrs ago, and she won her race. You can’t find a more qualified ground crew than this. I have never done a marathon but I have been part of Ned’s ground crew when he did his last MR340 race. When I visited this friend recently in the hospital, I observed his ground crews patience and gentle but firm prodding. She did not take his mood personally and was a calm, rational and strong presence. I saw a good example of what a great ground crew can be. And like her, my friend is going to win his race. But for now, he has the best ground crew rooting for, supporting and loving him.
Another good friend of ours is in a marathon to get physically healthy, addressing some serious health conditions but, unlike my other friend, he had to stay “at the starting gate-so to speak” waiting to begin his race for months. He had to get in shape to even get the go ahead to begin. This type of powerlessness has many lessons learned but definitely is incredibly hard and frustrating. His ground crew is also one strong and faithful woman, who has put aside “life” to do what she needed to do for him and let the rest go for now. We don’t see these friends much anymore but they are always close in our hearts. They are good friends with our other friends and it is very hard for both not to be able to be there for each other the way they would like.
I think we all have our own personal marathons whether large or small and I guess my theme here is the importance of ground crew and friend support. It makes the race a whole lot easier. So while Ned continues to scheme and prepare for his marathon-he is waiting at the gate for a day over 70 degrees- to kick off the kayak training we are rallying our support. Please spread the word to everyone. we want to be able to make a BIG difference in the lives of woman who may be starting a marathon of their own. The volunteers @ BirthChoice are their ground crew and we want to be ready and excellent. Our idea was conceived 12 weeks ago, 26 more weeks till we start the final Marathon.
Started to write my part of this blog entry. But, I think Sharon has said it all.