Since my amputation I have made a conscious decision to push myself. I now strive to do things on one leg that I never would have attempted when I had two. I am no longer as fearful of the embarrassment of failure. After all, most people seem impressed that I even attempt anything beyond walking slowly. I find it liberating that success and perfection are not expected!
I have been contemplating running a 5K for years. Somehow, something always seems to interfere with my plans. Of course, my biggest obstacle remains the fact that I am not a runner. I didn't run when I had two legs, and the prospect of running with a prosthetic is scary.
Last summer I attended an amputee running workshop. I learned how to run but, more importantly, I learned how to trust my prosthetic. Unfortunately, I also learned that I am not graceful which I think I already knew. I was the only amputee to fall during the workshop, and I ended up breaking my wrist. (The Tales of an Amputee Mommy: Yes, I Ran. Yes, I Fell.) Truth be told, in spite of the skills I learned, I have yet to run again.
My running leg is nearly complete, so that excuse has been nullified. I am feeling strong and healthy. I'm scared, but what's the worse that can happen? I figure, I've already broken one bone the last time I took to the asphalt, so the chances of it happening again are minuscule.
Right now, the only thing holding me back is my own fear. I am ready to put my running fears behind me, and I plan on making my public running debut on June 5 in Washington DC. I am officially signed up to run a 5K at the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. Watch out DC, the Amputee Mommy is on her way!
I chose this race for several reasons. I am a cancer survivor and know first hand the ravages of this disease. Not only have I endured the debilitating treatments, but I seen my friends and family members fight through their own battles. These horrific little cells have robbed me of some wonderful people in my life. I am running not only for myself, but for them as well.
The Komen Race afforded me the perfect opportunity to achieve my goal of completing a 5K run while raising funds for a cause that I hold dear. Surviving cancer combined with my amputation often leaves me perceived as weak. I want to prove to myself, my family and others that I am not merely "surviving" life. I am thriving, and I am strong.
A long time ago, when I was severely lacking motivation, Scott jokingly agreed to wear a hot dog costume to my first race. I plan on digging the costume out of the garage and holding him to his word. I know that the vision of him standing at the finish line, in downtown Washington DC, dressed like a giant hot dog will keep me motivated when I become tired.
If you are in the area on June 5, stop by and cheer me on (or pick me up as the case may be). I am going to do it because I believe in myself and the cause. If you wish to make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I have included a link on the sidebar of this blog. You can also track my progress by clicking on this link. Now I'm off to start training...