Well if I thought the roller coaster marathon in Nashville would be over by the finish line, I was clearly wrong.
All of 2016 was a chaotic marathon to the end and I couldn’t wait for the new year to get here.
Since the race, I/we have:
- Moved into a new apartment
- Suffered a layoff from work on day 2 of living in our new place
- Lost my weekends to work all through May
- Traveled to North Carolina for a week for a friend’s wedding
- Traveled to Michigan for a week for a family trip
- Brent got a job that sent him to Nashville – a lot
And, terrifyingly, one of my best friends, Colleen, was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July, just before her 28th birthday. The news shell-shocked all of us. All having the good fortunate to be generally healthy individuals, none of us were thinking about major health issues, especially not cancer.
Then came the busy season for work, where from August to November my team and I had a major, logistically-heavy event every 2 weeks. Brent’s position was permanently moved to Nashville and we decided that, in December, I’d leave Chicago and the Midwest, my home for 28 wonderful years. On top of that, I was studying for and taking the GMAT to get into grad school, working on applications, my dog was attacked at the park, and I was assaulted in my laundry room the night before one of my events.
2016, you were an a-hole.
But all of us have bad days, weeks, months or years.
And while things were difficult, I always thought of Colleen and how she was choosing to stay positive. If she could do that in the face of such difficult decisions and circumstances, in the face of cancer, I could get through a rough patch.
So now we come to 2017, or, as I like to call it, Redemption Year.
It’s not often that get you get a redo in life. But this year will be full of them.
We have moved to a new city and into a new home. Colleen will be through treatments and (knock on wood) cancer-free by March. I will be running the Rock N Roll Nashville Country Music Marathon again in April in her honor and Chicago Marathon again in October.
Even better, I get to put my money where my mouth is and run Nashville for charity. My best friends from college and I have joined with Colleen’s mother and sister to form Coll’s Dolls, running through Music City on April 29th for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in honor of Colleen, supporting her fight against cancer and to help end blood cancers for all.
Because attitude is a choice.
This marathon’s goal is simple: have the happiest race day yet.
Yes, a breaking my personal record would be amazing (especially if it involves cracking 4 hours!) but the weekend will bring in some of my favorite people from across the county and the run will be for a reason. Every moment will be cherished. Every step will be meaningful. Every dollar raised will count towards a cure.
So here we go again. Take two. I look forward to sharing it with you!
And so I state them plainly here to stay accountable, my goals for this year are:
- Nashville Marathon: To have the happiest race day
- Chicago Marathon: To achieve a personal record and run without music (feel the power of the crowd!)
- Career: Be accepted to Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management for Fall 2017
- Travel: Visit Alaska and Seattle in June and go backpacking at least 1-2 times a month between March and November