The clock buzzed at just after 5 a.m., but I was already awake. I hadn’t slept much the night before. I was too nervous I would oversleep my alarm and wouldn’t have enough time to eat and stretch a bit.
I was going to run my very first marathon, and I was nervous.
Scared that I might not be able to make it through. Terrified that I might have to go to the bathroom at an inopportune moment. Any number of ridiculous thoughts swirled through my mind.
And then I remembered Calvin. I wrote Calvin’s name on the back of my purple Team In Training jersey. I wrote Calvin’s name on my arm.
I wrote Calvin’s name across my heart.
Calvin was the 9 month old baby of a friend of mine. At 5 months old, he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. He had already been through numerous procedures, including a bone marrow transplant. He was fighting for every precious day of his life, so I could certainly fight through several hours of one day of mine.
Beneath all the anxiety, I knew that I was ready. I had been training for four months with my Team In Training group. Together we ran short and long runs, we cross trained, we shared our highs and lows. Together we asked everyone we knew if they would be willing to support us as we raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by running a marathon. Together we volunteered at other events, for which the LLS “paid” us for our hours by adding money into our fundraising accounts.
And together, even if at different races across the country, we came across those finish lines, proud of what we had done, and even more proud of why we did it.
When my mom learned what I was doing, a veteran LLS team member herself, she decided to run the marathon with me. It took me 5 hours and 40 minutes, but I did it. I completed it, and I crossed that finish line.
Every time I got tired or discouraged, it was little Calvin’s face that kept me going. It was the face of so many children that are diagnosed with, suffer through, and die from Leukemia and Lymphoma each year.
These statistics are provided by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, LLS, the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer research, education, and patient services:
- An estimated 1,1239,813 people in the United States are living with, or are in remission, from leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma
- Blood cancers are the #3 cancer killer in North America. Only cancers of the respiratory and digestive systems, including lung and colon cancers, are more deadly.
- Approximately every 4 minutes, one person is the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer.
- Approximately every 10 minutes, someone in the United States dies.
Leukemia is the leading cause of cancer death of children and young adults under the age of 20.
Moms – this matters to US.
It matters to ME.
Sweet little Calvin lost the fight shortly after he turned 18 months old. His whole life was comprised of hospital visits and procedures, sweet successes and heartbreaking setbacks. But he fought until he could no more.
That marathon was eight years ago. Since then, I have been looking for ways to get involved with Team in Training again to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but with three small children, it has been hard to find the time to devote to marathon training.
So I was beyond thrilled when I heard about Moms In Training.
Moms In Training, which debuted in NYC in 2012, is a flexible 8-week workout program with the goal of bringing Columbia moms together to get in shape, fight cancer, and raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Throughout the season, moms will get the chance to meet other moms, attend team socials as well as meetings about health and nutrition and train for a 5k race at the end of the season! (Whew! A 5k NOT a marathon!) Best of all, babies (as long as they can stay in a stroller) are welcome at all training events.
The first training started on March 1st, but it’s not too late to get involved. Moms In Training will be training for the May 10th Cones for a Cure 5K to raise money for LLS.
Moms in Training will meet weekly to train together with our coaches. There will also be other fun activities throughout the season, such as fitness classes, socials, and special events!
If you’ve been wanting to get out and train, meet other moms, and be able to bring your little one along with you, this is the perfect chance. AND you get the added benefit of raising money to support an amazing cause.
Do it for yourself.
Do it for Calvin.
Sign up for Moms in Training.
* This sponsored post is brought to you by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Moms in Training Program. However, the experiences and opinions expressed are entirely our own.