One Mile at a Time
Team In Training Walk Coach
years ago my dearest friend of 20 years, Carolann, was diagnosed with
late stage lymphoma. I remember feeling powerless to help and wondered
what I could possibly do. I found Team in Training, and I have been
making a difference ever since.
Training (TNT) trained me to walk a marathon. They gave me the support,
skills, and confidence I needed to be successful. I found that having
others depend on me while training and fundraising for such an important
cause was highly motivating. I traveled with the team to Honolulu and
walked a marathon in Carolanns honor. It gave me an incredible
sense of purpose, accomplishment, and pride. At the time I thought it
was the most important thing I had ever done. It wasnt.
Team in Training walk coach I now have the privilege of training others
to experience the success and elation I felt after my first TNT event.
Marathon after marathon I have met the most incredible individuals.
Our heroes come in all ages, sizes, shapes, and ability levels. They
share a common desire to work to end the suffering of others and to
make the world a better place. Our blisters and sore muscles become
insignificant beside the daily challenges of the cancer patients we
walk to honor. Printed on one of our training shirts is: You think
training for a marathon is difficult? Try chemotherapy.
been moved by the strength and determination of our team members and
by their poignant stories. Let me share a few with you that especially
touched my heart:
was joined by her toddler twins as she crossed the finish line of the
Portland Marathon this year, one year to the day after her late-stage
lymphoma diagnosis; Cadence honored her grandfather, newly diagnosed
with leukemia, by participating in the Honolulu Marathon and learned
the next morning that he had passed away on marathon day; Heidi was
energized as she pushed up Diamondhead at mile 24 by the gentle presence
of her teenage friend Kim whose life of bright promise had been cut
short by leukemia; Paula is currently training in honor of her nephew
who lost his battle with leukemia three months after his 18th birthday;
Brendan wore a necklace in his marathon made for him by an elementary
school friend with colored beads corresponding to her blood transfusions,
medical tests, and chemotherapy. The brown beads represent each time
her curly brown hair has fallen out; and beautiful eight-year-old Katie
stood on the stage in front of hundreds of people and thanked us for
working so hard for her. The experimental treatment that saved Katies
life was funded by TNT. Ive had the privilege to walk side by
side with those honoring the memory of dear ones and others celebrating
healing and survival. Our team has also included blood cancer survivors
who we call Honored Teammates. Their strength, courage, and dignity
are the wind beneath our wings.
the finish line after my first TNT marathon was far from the most important
thing Ive ever done. Helping others cross the finish line is.
That includes crossing the finish line with Carolann two years ago when
she completed the Portland Marathon with our team. Nine years after
her diagnosis she is alive in good part because of research funded by
TNT. We have restored her hope; that is what Team in Training does.
When the team traveled to the Nike 26.2 Marathon in San Francisco last
month we walked in Carolanns honor. She gave us an angel pin to
wear with a note that said: We are each of us angels with only
one wing, and we can fly only by embracing each other. With thanks from
all our Honored Teammates to whom your steps give flight.
you join us in the coming training season? You will benefit physically,
emotionally, and spiritually beyond measure. I can virtually guarantee
it will be a life-changing experience both for you and for those
you walk to honor. Come join us and find that hero inside!
information on Team In Training visit www.teamintraining.org