Liz P. is a blogger on the lifestyle blog “Prior Fat Girl”. She is also a mom and a Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walker, and she joins us today for a guest post.
I’ve been training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® for a few months now, although training has been somewhat limited since I lead a busy life (but really, who doesn’t?). So last week, when we hit the 16-week mark I bumped my training walks up. I am still not perfectly following the plan but I am making an effort each day.
According to the 16-week suggested training schedule, Mother’s Day called for a 5-mile walk and to be honest, I was not in the mood. After all it was Mother’s Day, and I wanted to relax. I also felt guilty for spending time away from my family on such a family-focused day.
I had to work that morning and then we headed to my in-laws’ house for the rest of the day. But I planned ahead and I brought my walking gear along so I would be prepared to go for a walk. (My Mother’s Day gift was even a hydration belt for my training!) After lunch and a nap with my baby, I knew that it was time to head off for a walk. In fact, I had cut it a bit too close to do a full 5 miles, but I did not let that stop me from doing something.
Though rain was in the forecast it was a beautiful spring day in MN. There was a brisk wind that was both warm and cool at the same time. Flowers were blooming and lots of people were out enjoying the precious sunshine. Leaving my kids in their grandparents care, I headed out.
As I walked on Mother’s Day I thought about my Grandma – Ruth Ann Mercer. She died when I was a teenager after 8 years of breast cancer and then other types as it metastasized. My Grandma was an amazing woman. She went to college in her 50s because she’d always regretted not being able to go when she was young. She majored in philosophy!
She did not let anything stop her when she set her mind to something, which is part of the reason I believe she lived for 8 years with breast cancer. In the end it was her decision to stop treatment and I remember gathering with her for our last goodbyes. In many ways I was too young to really understand her choice at the time, and had no real insight to ask to hear her stories and knowledge. I wish I could know that now. I miss her.
With each step on Sunday, I thought about my Grandma. I thought about the chocolate chips she kept in the pots and pans drawer in her house, in case of an emergency chocolate fix. I thought about how she could sew anything out of anything. I thought about learning to play Gin Rummy with her.
And I thought about how I am not able to introduce her to my new daughter or how I cannot take a 4-generation picture of the strong women in my family because of breast cancer. But perhaps my daughter will see breast cancer eradicated in her lifetime, or perhaps I’ll see it myself. I walk because I want people to know their grandmas.
I didn’t quite manage the full 5 miles. I made it 3 miles before rain and the promise of Mother’s Day dinner at the in-laws beckoned. I didn’t manage every step, but I did get out there and I trained. Training is hard as a mother of two young children. Training is hard when holding a full-time job. Training is hard because it is hard. But it is not as hard as cancer.
So I walk on Mother’s Day to train for 60 miles. I walk for my Grandma. I walk for my daughter’s future.