This is how it works-
I love to run but there are times when I would rather not. This is when the voices start. Chants, name calling, guilt and reverse psychology is how they get me up and out the door. I don't really mind the voices and have actually started looking forward to their daily calls. Together we have formed a running club that supports, encourages and competes with each other. I love these peeps. They are much more experienced, talented and tougher than I am. Pushing me out the door, through the hard miles and up the monster hills when I am feeling lazy or want to give up. Some people have "real" training partners, coaches and support crews. My team is ALWAYS with me and helps me to keep my eye on the prize and not veer off the track. Sounds crazy- Yeah, probably is.........

Friday, June 15, 2012

Does It Really Matter?

Fundraising is draining. Emotionally and physically. I ask myself, "Does it really matter?" Sometimes I really want to quit and just concentrate on my race/run/event. Take the extra time to relax and get into my ninja-like state of calm..... Then I get an email, message or phone call that punches me in the mouth and inspires me to do more, to work harder, to find a way to raise more money and awareness to beat the monster. Here is one that I wanted to share. No matter how hard it gets on the trail, road or track, my struggles will always pale in significance. I know that I'm not even a tiny fraction of the person she/he thinks I am..... but if it helps them through a dark hour or time, I will keep striving to that level. 

Thank you. Hmmm...thank you doesn't even begin to say what I really want to say. I don't even know that I can find the words right now...and I would write thank you a million times right now if I could.
Thank you...

I know that (a mutual friend)  had you add me to the scroll. I didn't know what to say. I have been pretty private about what I have been going through. I have not discussed this openly yet (other than what I have shared with some very special people in my cheerleaders), but in my attempt to be as normal as possible through this stuff, I have found a lot of strength and inspiration. I am finding out who I really am. 

Thank you...

I went to the gym this morning and had a great strength workout and a little bit of time on the elliptical...and I threw up...and I went back to the lipty and finished out my cool down. I was already exhausted, but I kept going. And I know that a workout that is a little over an hour is nothing compared to what you have done with your running, but I thought of you. I thought of YOU. Because you are pretty freaking amazing. You endure miles that some people could only dream of. Because you are YOU. And I know I haven't talked to you yet, but I watch from my quiet little corner in the world and I think you are one of a kind...incredible...crazy (in only the best ways)...and the most wonderful person I have never met. 

Thank you...

For the times you go out there and you think that you can't push through another mile, but you do it inspire. You inspire me...

Thank you...

For caring so much about something to make a difference. For turning your pain into a passion.

Thank you...

For not quitting. I read your post about the 50 and started crying almost instantly. THANK YOU FOR NOT QUITTING.

Thank you...

I am sick tonight. I am exhausted and sick and angry. But I am hopeful. I am half way through my treatment and I have a light at the end of the tunnel. I have not and will not let "chuck" define me (the other word is just too much to say some days...I prefer chuck) . 

Thank you...

You give me motivation to keep going. I will wake up and go to the gym tomorrow morning. And no matter how much I want to stay in bed, because it hurts to wake up, I will get my ass moving anyways. And I will do my workout with a smile on my face. And I will push myself to add more weight to the machines. And it is going to hurt. But it will hurt so good. Then I will take a nap. 

Thank you...

You give me a reason to not stop. After my nap and some food that tastes like tinfoil (I swear...everything tastes like tinfoil right now) I am going to hop on my bike and ride like there is no tomorrow. It might not be far and it certainly won't be fast, but if you can run a shit ton of miles, there is no reason I can't go for a ride. 

Thank you...

I will cry. I think it is ok to cry. And I will be angry that I can't throw out a century ride just yet. And I will laugh because I might just be crazy. And I will cry some more... and I will read your post again. And I will cry a little more. I am not sad though. Don't be mistaken. I am just so touched by what you do. 

Thank you...

For taking me along for your run. It means so much to me.

Thank you...

...for being you.

Just another reason to Relay. I will post this message on my "aid station" tonight as I attempt 60 miles on the track. When I feel like quitting, or start thinking that it doesn't matter, I'll take a few minutes to read this again. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

When I Look Back

When I look back.....
I can't really remember what life was like before I was married.
I can't really remember what life was like before I had children.
I can't really remember what life was like before I became a runner.
I can't really remember what life was like before I Relayed.

It's funny how all of these share a common theme. Each individual link in this chain is a life changing event. It's crazy how one event changes the path of life and opens the door to new possibilities and discoveries. In all cases, for me, each link has steered me down a course of fulfillment and purpose. Marriage, children, running, Relaying. I know "running" seems like a silly thing to put on this list and when compared to the others it seems minor. It's not. Here's why.....

I started running in 2006. I quickly became addicted, obsessed and all the other things my wife says. I started running 5k's, 10k's and even a 1/2 marathon in that first year. I LOVED placing in my age group or in the overall top 3. The medals, trophies and looking for that next personal best became my reason to run. My purpose to run. This worked for me. I progressively got better and learned to enjoy the long, hard hours of training. I lost some weight along the way and felt better than I had in many years. I was a runner.

I continued running and racing, finding myself at the finish line of marathons and ultra-marathons over the next few years. I was collecting  finisher medals, age group awards, medals and celebrating my accomplishments. Then my dad was diagnosed with cancer one day in December. The next day we were in St. Louis preparing for major surgery. The surgeons removed 1/3 of his esophagus before we fully understood what happened. My head was spinning and running seemed to help gather my thoughts over the next month or two.

I ran to clear my head, to think of new questions to ask the doctors, to try and digest all the information and accept the changes and battles ahead. This was helping, my dad was slowly coming around, his future looked promising and life was starting to look "normal" again. I continued running for myself. For my purpose. One day in March, I talked to my mom. Cancer. Colorectal. Many hours of life saving and life changing surgery to remove the cancer followed by chemo and radiation treatments came quickly. I ran a lot of miles through her small Kansas town during this period while gathering my thoughts, crying and deciding on a new purpose.

I decided that I should, could and would dedicate my running to a new purpose. The medals, trophies and glory of a new personal best are no longer my purpose. I have only run in three races this year. Three. But I have helped raise almost $5,000 to Fight Back. This disease will not win . There are too many people dedicated to making sure that we will one day live in world without cancer. I believe this can happen. I believe this will happen. I will do my part to make sure this does happen. One day our kids will "look back" and struggle to remember a time when cancer was a problem.

Our little community here in Ozark County, MO bands together each year for the Relay for Life. All I knew about this event was that a bunch of people raised money by selling items such as food, crafts and clothing. They also walked on the high school track for some reason. I had participated in a few of the local 5k's but I was after the bling and didn't understand (or, to be honest, care) about the what or why behind it. Thankfully, the people involved are highly dedicated and are very happy to help somebody like me to learn. They have taken me under their wings and shown me how amazing people are and what it really means to Relay. This year BOTH my mom and dad will make the trip and walk the survivor lap.

We have all lost friends and loved ones. We all know somebody that has family members fighting the battle. This week I will celebrate my 40th birthday as a pallbearer at a funeral for a friend's mother who lost the battle. He and his sister are lifelong friends and considered family to me. They also lost their dad less than two years ago to cancer. How is this right? Cancer is evil and we must stand together and FIGHT BACK!!

In 2010 I ran all night on the track for the first time and logged 54 miles. Last year, while wearing that stupid pink tutu, I logged 53 miles. This year, on June 15th, I am looking for 60 miles. Not for me. Not for the bling. For you. For our parents. For our children. For a purpose. I'm again asking for sponsorship of $10 per mile. That's $2.50 per lap. UNLESS you want to see me in that stupid pink tutu again. My dignity and self respect goes for $25 per mile. ($6.25 per lap for the math whizzes out there)

If you want to donate online you can do so by clicking one the links below.......

Relay for Life


Or by mail to:
David Murphy
HC 72 Box 324-8
Wasola, MO 65773
(Make checks payable to The American Cancer Society)

You can also purchase a bumper sticker for $5 donation.
 Click HERE for details.

Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people
every year to …
Celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer. The strength of survivors inspires
others to continue to fight.
Remember loved ones lost to the disease. At Relay, people who have walked alongside
those battling cancer can grieve and find healing.
Fight Back. We Relay because we have been touched by cancer and desperately want to
put an end to the disease. Make a commitment to save lives by taking up the fight.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Princess Bumper Sticker

If you want one of these dumb stickers, donate $5 (or more) to the ACS through my Relay for Life page or PayPal AND fill out the form below. If you don't want one of these stickers, you are probably smart enough not to fill out the form. But you can still do the $5 (or more) part.


Click here to donate through PayPal

Click here to donate on my Relay for Life Page