The runDisney Princess Half Marathon is less than one month away. As in, the reality of my training and the fact that I am not where I hoped I would be has started to sink in.
Except that last week, I was reminded of my goals for this year, one of them being to focus on my health, and more than ever, I remembered what was important. The runDisney Princess Half Marathon is just one step in my journey. It is a chance for me to enjoy 13.1 miles through a land of dreams and magic, as the course weaves through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.
It is a step toward my goal race, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in April, where I will not just be running, but also raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A race through the streets of the town that has been my home for almost half of my life. A race that will take me back in time 16 years, to the day that I first sat in the chemotherapy chairs to undergo treatment for my non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Little steps. Big dreams. One goal of being healthy and feeling strong.
My reminder about the big picture came during a doctor’s appointment last week. The good news was that I lowered my blood pressure from the sky-high numbers of six weeks ago, to much more reasonable numbers. But then came a reality check that should not have impacted me…but did. A doctor’s order for a mammogram.
All women, starting at 40 should have regular mammograms. It is one of those things that we do, because early detection…well, the earlier the better. Except that I am not 40. I am only 38…but the thickness of my medical file requires that I be more diligent. Mini mantle radiation, aka radiation to the area between my chin and my chest makes me requires earlier mammograms. My head knows the importance, the reasons. But my heart knows something else.
My heart remembers the words of my oncologist who said it was a matter of “when” not “if.” When I would face a second line cancer due to the high doses of chemotherapy and radiation that caused who knows what long-term damage.
When, not if.
While I am not the type of person that lives in fear, I would be lying if I said I was not afraid. I would be lying if I said I did not have moments of anger and tears after a simple direction to go get a mammogram. But those words, when not if, are just words. They do not control what I am or what I can accomplish. Even if they do come true, one day….they are not my reality in this moment.
Little steps. Just like my 13.1 miles through Disney World for the Princess Half Marathon. Just like my 13.1 miles through the streets of Washington for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. Little steps to taking back control of my health, or at least of the parts of my health that I can control. Things like my blood pressure, my weight, and my fitness levels.
Running the 13.1 miles through the land of magic and fairy tales in less than one month may not be my fastest race. In fact, it is likely to be my slowest half marathon. But my speed on that day will not be important. Enjoying the moment, knowing that I am no longer taking my health for granted like I have done in the last few years….that is what I will remember when I cross that finish line.
A finish line that more than marking the end of the race, will be marking my first step toward new beginnings. New steps. New moments. And yes, a mammogram.
I am linking up with JustBeEnough this week to stay accountable for my goals. What about you? Did you create three words, or one, to help you achieve your goals this year?