Running… ’cause cancer

Running has always been a bit of a sticky subject to me. Basically, I believe not everyone is made for running. You can give me all the “you can do anything you set your mind to” you want, all the “running is for everyone” slogans you can think of, and I will still believe that, not everyone is made for it.

I am well aware I have a good advantage on the whole “running thing”: I have a pair of legs that actually work. My lungs seem to function OK too, my heart as well. But, it’s always been a struggle, either through injury, bad health, depression, dodgy lifestyle. Running is that thing I always aspired to do better, or to at least feel motivated to do on a regular basis.

I now run almost every day, sometimes very slow, others really badly, but I still go out to run. What made me say, once and for all “go run”, was when I heard about my mother getting cancer.

More than a year ago my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer… yes, the really rubbish kind of cancer. And something clicked within me. I know this is a huge cliché, to experience some sort of change, suffer an eye-opening moment, when someone you knows develops cancer. However, cancer has always been present in my life. When I was 15, one of my best friends at high-school died of the disease, within months of being diagnosed. It taught me about death and did all sorts of things to me. One of my favourite aunts also got cancer some years ago, but luckily, she survived it. My beloved grandad didn’t make it, though.

So cancer is no news to me. When my mother got diagnosed though, something changed inside of me: I wanted to run. Walk out of the door and just LEG IT. Run until your lungs explode, run until your knees give up, that type of running. Run because I can, run because I need to, run because it feels better than screaming my heart out, which I sometimes do.

My mother is still undergoing treatment, and I am still running.