Wednesday, February 22

Quote of the Day:  “The art of life lies in the constant readjustment to our surroundings.  Okakura Kakuzo

Today, Sue O. and I put in 4 miles running the S-curve.  Sue’s a natural runner, she’s fast and has 50 plus marathons under her belt.  I worry that I hold her back but I’m grateful because she pushes me.  Not only am I training my body to run longer without fatigue but I am also interested in running faster and part of that involves increasing my strides per minute.  Elite distance runners run at a rate of about 180 strides per minute.  Apparently, our stride rate in hardwired into our biomechanics so my goal will be to increase my rate so that I run faster.  Who doesn’t want to run faster?  Now, I just have to go out running with a stopwatch and figure out what my stride per minute equals.  I am now under 3 months away from my marathon date.  This weekend I will attempt my first half-marathon, 13.1 miles, in almost two years.  I’m certain I will be walking a lot of it but no worries because I will be in St. George where the estimated temperature will hover around 65 degrees, perfect running weather.

During dinner in Costa Rica, we watched a darling family come into the restaurant, a mom, a dad and two girls with long blond hair.  The mom was bald.  We all watched her wondering her story.  Her face was pale and looked a little swollen.  During chemo, you have to be careful in the sun, you’re more sensitive to the sun’s rays and it can leave spots on your skin. I wanted to be in the sun during chemo, I yearned to have warmth on my body but I was careful.  I don’t know what her story was, I could only wonder and relate.  I remember the feeling of lots of eyes on me when I was dealing with baldness and the effects of cancer treatment.  I so admire people who go out in public with nothing on their heads.  They are dealing with their situation in a positive way.  I felt better under a scarf or hat.  Lynne was such a great example of owning her situation but not letting it own her.  She would go out into public bald.  You have no idea how much courage that takes until you do it.  And you know, we really do gain strength from each other’s trials and from the way one handles themselves and I gained strength from watching Lynne.  It’s a gift a parent gives a child- handling situations in a positive way.  Children are buoyed up by the remarkable example and feel that they can do the same, thus the huge impact a parent’s behavior is on a child.  I kept thinking about this woman’s daughters and their long hair and wondered what the mom’s hair was like before it came out.  

But here’s the part that made everyone at our table sad.  We watched as a group came into the restaurant, they were celebrating Mardi Gras and had necklaces for all the women there. So this man takes a handful of cheap necklaces and starts to go from table to table handing them to every woman.  He gets to their table and gives one to the little girls and then skips the mom and goes to the next table.  The man was in his 50s or 60s and probably didn’t know how to react to a woman who was bald but come on.  It made me sick because cancer and chemo take so many things away from a person and it really does make you wonder if you are still a woman.  I often wondered how many many more female parts they could remove from me.  One necklace, one woman.  She watched as each female in the room got a necklace but she was on the outside.  Nonetheless, she went pleasantly on eating her dinner, I loved her for that.  I think that is what we do, go on and learn from the mistakes of others and hope that we are compassionate when we deal with all people.

Enjoying life in Brasilito-  Joanie, Jen, Janet, Erin






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