A Self-Indulgent Survival

“I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”
― Audre Lorde

When my alarm goes off at 5.20a tomorrow morning, I will most likely be tired. When the second alarm rings at 5.32a, I will probably still feel tired. That second time though, I will get up. I will spring up and jump up and throw on some pretty Lululemon workout clothes. Then I will slam a cup of black coffee and a protein shake. Before I leave the house at 5.53a I will have laced up my favorite Inov-8s, petted the corgi, and texted my beautiful man ‘good morning’. I will also still be tired.  But in that 3 minute drive to Pullen Park and the subsequent 2 minute catch up with the girls, I will have forgotten about that. Suddenly I will be invigorated. I can run, I can fight, I can work my body until it screams.  CrossFit Invoke and Bootycamp, I thank you. I do this for me.

When I ran 10 miles for the first time ever last Saturday, I was ecstatic. My wall had previously been 8.5 and I worried I wouldn’t be able to move past it. The weekend prior I had complained and moaned and succumbed to my tired brain and body. Part of me thinks that if I were doing this solely for myself, that I would indeed have stopped. But since I’ve been running with and for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, I knew I had a responsibility for someone greater than myself. I do this for me; I do this for the people who can’t. I do this for people who need others to care for themselves, so that they can survive.

In 7 weeks I will run the Nike Women’s 1/2 Marathon in San Francisco. I will run on behalf of the LLS and for every one who is fighting or will be fighting cancer.

Donate a little, or donate a lot. Just donate for a cure. If you can’t run, or don’t want to run, then donate here. Trust me, with every mile I will think of you. With every muscle ache, I will thank you. And with every word of profanity that escapes my lips, and every scream of happiness that follows it, I will have gratitude for you. Donate.

Here’s a Little Bit More:

WHO IS THE LLS? The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Founded in 1949, we are relentless in pursuit of our mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

WHAT DO THEY DO? LLS has invested more than $750 million in research, approximately $72 million in fiscal year 2010 alone. Research funded by LLS has led or contributed to advances such as chemotherapy, bone marrow and stem cell transplantation and new, targeted oral therapies such as Gleevec®, Rituxan®, Velcade®, Thalidomid®, Revlimid®, Dacogen® and Vidaza®.

WHY DO WE DO IT? The need is critical: An estimated 957,902 people in the United States are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma. Every four minutes, someone new is diagnosed with blood cancer. Every 10 minutes, someone dies.