Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I met a hero...

During my last long run before this Saturday's Provo River Half Marathon. He wasn't wearing a cape, mask, or a big S on his chest, but believe me, this guy is a superhero if I've ever met one.

Kristi and I were just wrapping up our 8 at Sugarhouse Park when we stopped for a moment to chat, drink, breathe, and sigh when I noticed a man wearing a Wasatch Back running shirt. I was wearing mine, so I said "hey! Nice shirt, man!" He smiled, and he and his running partner walked over and we all started talking-- I asked him about race, and what team he was on. He said Team Tumor, and that's when the light went off.

Last year during WB, I ran alongside a team with a logo that, warning, is a little R rated. They proudly wore shirts that read F*@K Cancer. Their team leader, Dov, had an agressive type of cancer and was undergoing chemo and treatment during the race. I repeat, the dude was hooked up to an iv drip and a pic line while running one of the roughest races in the country. And he was the RAGNAR runner. (that is the toughest leg of said rough race). Well, it would appear he has since recruited other cancer patients and they ran it again. As in, more than one member of their team was undergoing chemo and treatment and RUNNING in the heat, rain, dirt, uphill, downhill, over rocks, and through cities, towns, and over mountains. I remember watching their team in awe both years and thinking, wow, F*@K Cancer indeed. And now this man, Dov, was standing in front of me, training for yet another race.

Dov still has cancer. In fact, he told us he was preparing to have several more tumors removed in the coming weeks. I asked him why he did it and he simply said "well, this is my way of telling cancer to F-off and fighting back. I am in control of my life. Not cancer."

And here I am, complaining at times about little aches and pains, bad runs, life stress when homeboy is undergoing a battle for his life and RUNNING right against it. His running partner said "yeah, whenever I'm like 'my knee hurts' Dov says 'I have cancer' and I have to say 'ok, I'm shutting up now."

Can you say inspiration? So, as I prepare this week for my first race with my best friend, I'm thinking of Dov and his bravery, strength, and endurance. What a stud.

You can read more about Dov here.


Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Truly amazing perspective. Thanks for the reminder!

natalie a said...

what a great example to all of us...thank you for sharing his amazing story


Thanks for the awesome story - great inspiration!!

I just found your blog - and can't wait to read more!! I love a good pair of 7 for all Mankind jeans!!! :)

Happy Running!!

Ang said...

Wow!! That's an amzing story!

How was your race last weekend??!! Hope it went well.

Hey Kristi, let's see some pictures of that baby of yours!

Running, kind of. said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing this story. Really puts things in perspective. I don't know why I get so emotional when it comes to running and races but this one brought tears to my eyes. People are out there taking control of their lives, any way they can! I am proud to be a runner.