What Does it Matter?

I am summoning every ounce of energy to type quickly so that my battery doesn’t die. This is because I don’t have the energy to run upstairs for my laptop charger. This is only partly because I’ve been up since 4:45 am and partly because I ran a 5K this morning. It is mostly because today completely sapped my emotional reserves. Stay with me people. Sapped emotionally=sapped physically. It’s true.

But first, I need to digress.

As we were training for Broad Street this last year, a group began using the Galloway method of interval training. They alternated walking and running to complete long distances. Well, many of you know that runners can be a snooty bunch and, these interval girls were not really taken very seriously at first. KEY WORDS: “at first.” As I watched Dara, Liz, Melissa, Nicole, Amanda, Jen and others do their well-choreographed dance of run/walk/run/walk,  I became more infatuated with them. I found myself silently rooting for them to kick some of the “straight-running-ONLY-walking-is-for-sissies” butts (my own included.) So, I challenged them to finish Broad Street (ten miles) in under 2 hours. If they did, I would pay for them to run in the Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon–registration fee: $100.  The second the challenge was issued, I regretted it.

Interval Girls!
Interval Girls!
Interval Girls NOW
Interval Girls NOW!

Well, this morning every single one of those interval girls ran the RNR on my dime because they DID IT. They ran ten miles doing intervals and finished Broad Street in 1:54.  I have never been happier to lose a bet.

I was registered to run the RNR with these fine ladies and about forty some odd members of our team but I had to choose a different race. The Moving for Melanoma 5K was this morning as well. So shortly after I waved our RNRollers off and wished them well, I headed to Wilmington, DE to run in honor of Debi McLaughlin.

Debi McLaughlin
Debi McLaughlin

Debi was a long time patient of mine who died last year at 43 of ocular melanoma. She left behind five children.  Debi’s tragic death is one of the main reasons Team CMMD exists. I spoke to her shortly before she died and she stressed to me the importance of being there for my kids; physically and emotionally. “Be PRESENT!” she said. “Show them that you are more than your work. They NEED you!”

Even though I have done everything in my power to honor her words,  I still have always felt that I was missing something…I just didn’t know what.

So, when I learned that the Melanoma Run was at the exact same time as the RNR, there was not a choice to be made at least for me.

I fully expected to wave off forty teammates to RNR and then climb into my car to make the lonely drive to DE. But nope, I was not alone.

All in all twenty-seven of my teammates did the Melanoma Run with me–several of whom also held bibs for RNR.10541990_10203329525812413_7750413252675193274_n

Moving for Melanoma Team
Moving for Melanoma Team


To me, the highlight of the day came when we were all back home in the Downingtown area.

Team CMMD in Training met for the second time. 68 kids are registered to do a 9 week training plan which ends in time for them to run in our very own Team CMMD 5K–This Run’s Personal


The littlest/BIGGEST Reasons

Maisy has been working as a junior coach. Sam and Hadley are enrolled in the program.  A few hours ago, Sam, my 12 year-old said  “Hey Mom, that Team in Training is AWESOME. That was really fun. Can you help me try to run more–I want to run with YOU. ”

My team’s presence at the 5K this morning won’t bring Debi back.  But when Sam was talking to me this afternoon, I felt like I suddenly got it. THAT was what Debi was trying to get me to accomplish all this time.

We spin ourselves into the ground sometimes. We do intervals, and we run, and we diet and we get hurt and we stop and start and stop again.   We wonder if any of it matters at all. And,  we wonder why we should even bother when cancer knows no limits.

Well, Debi was wise.  It matters because our kids are watching us try and fail and try again. They will  try and fail and try again too–because we have shown them that that’s ok.

That’s why it matters.