Winter is gradually winding down and training is ramping up. After snowshoe racing season I'm feeling in a good place to hit the trails this year. Actually, I'm hitting the roads too - running two half marathons this spring, sandwiched around the Bear Mountain 50 Miler in May.
Spring coming up means my Mom is soon facing a serious medical procedure, which is going to be a test for her and for my entire family. In May she is undergoing a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma, which she was diagnosed with a few days before Christmas. When someone you love is hurting, you feel some of their pain in a way, almost like it is radiating from the ache in your heart. Maybe this is part of the reason I am increasingly throwing myself into running right now. It could just be I'm simply trying to distract myself, but partly I want to make myself hurt with my Mom. It makes no sense, and it is likely presumptuous or patronizing or some other unintended thing, but I can't help it. Because pushing myself feels better than doing nothing. Because not being able to do anything is the hardest part of all. I just wish it could somehow unburden some of her own - real - struggles. The good news is my Mom is a lot tougher than I am, and the better news is that she and my Dad and her medical team can, and have been, doing a lot. Mom has been taking great care of herself and responding very well to treatment, and my Dad is part-super-hero/part-angel looking after her better than ten normal people could.
Sometimes running teaches me about life, and sometimes in return life teaches me about running. When a race is going well, it is all so easy to just keep chugging happily along. But when things fall apart and get too tough, I used to say it's just a game and ask what's the point anyway and sometimes even quit. I've come to realize that there doesn't have to really be a point except to appreciate each day, or each mile. If we're truly lucky, that's what we get. It is enough, and I'm grateful.