My friend Jeannette frequently quotes Joel 2:25: “I will repay you for the years that the locusts have eaten.”
There have been so many blessing and so many good things happening over the last few months that it feels a lot like the repayment is underway. Here’s the short list: gave my first motivational speech, had the best vacation ever with the lovely Sarah, got a new full-time job, took on a larger role at my part-time gig, wrote my book, launched a web site, lost 50 pounds, all while being supported by the best friends and family a guy could ever ask for.
So, here’s a piece of news I’ve been sitting on for a little while: I’m running the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon in March. I’ve been in training for the last month and a half.
Why am I doing this? The marathon is March 29, three years and two days from my being diagnosed with stage 3b rectal cancer.
Those who know my story well know that marathons are integral to the telling: I ran the Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Marathon three weeks before I was diagnosed, and the Knoxville Half Marathon five days after.
Running a marathon a little more than three years to the day after my diagnosis is the biggest bird-flip I can give to cancer. Cancer tried to take me out, I’ve struggled with post-treatment complications like neuropathy and weight gain, and the likelihood of recurrence follows me like a shadow.
In 11 weeks, I intend to cross the finish line with a personal record (it won’t be difficult to achieve as my fastest marathon time is 6:21) and be greeted by the warm embrace of the lovely Sarah and close friends.
Between now and then, I’m training with an amazing group of people and cross training with still more amazing people.
To the finish line and beyond …