I ran my first marathon four years ago; the year I turned 50. I saw it as a one-time adventure (to cross off the list) and met my goal of running the whole course and crossing the finish line in one piece. Though I broke no records, I was pleased with the outcome. A few months later I went for a routine annual physical expecting nothing significant. My doctor ran an ekg and noted that it had changed a bit from the previous year's. With no cardiac symptoms (no dizziness, no shortness of breath, no chest pains) or risk factors (no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no diabetes, no smoking, no obesity- and I’m fit) she said it was probably nothing, but would feel more comfortable if I ran it by a cardiologist. The cardiologist was not concerned though she followed up. After successive tests and within days she told me, in a new urgent tone, that I needed to be in the hospital NOW. The next day the surgeon discovered coronary blockage and inserted four stents. He said, "You were the guy who was going to go out running one day, drop dead, and no one would understand why."
After digesting it all, I resolved to run the New York City marathon again for two reasons: 1- to test the new plumbing and 2- as an act of defiance and affirmation. The hardware worked well and I shaved 1 hour and 14 minutes off of my previous year's time. Since then I’ve run five more marathons for a total of seven. Each successive year I knock off a minute or two and each marathon represents a celebration of life for me. In fact, every time I run any distance I end it with an appreciation for all of life’s moments and a special appreciation for the motto “Run for Life.”
Running to raise money for Alex's Lemonade Stand offers another opportunity to run for life. The mission of Alex's Lemonade Stand is:
-To raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily research into new treatments and cures.
-To encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.
Please join me in supporting a charity devoted, very deeply, to the cause of life.