Saturday, March 22, 2014

fight like a girl!

It was mild this morning when I let the dog out at 7:15, about 40 degrees. There was sun and little wind: a perfect day for my first 5K! But things changed drastically by race time at 9 o'clock. Gray clouds moved in and a cold March wind blew. How well we Ohioans know those cold March winds.
I had Bill drop me off at Delaware's YMCA to join more than 300 other runners and walkers. We set off at 9 o'clock, circling the soccer field and heading up Houk Road for about a mile, then back again to complete the 5K route. I walked with Kim and Chris from church and we had a good chat. We kept a brisk pace and finished in under 54 minutes.
I hesitated to sign up for the race: I'd been nervous I couldn't finish, even though I love to walk. But this race was a benefit for Ashleigh and she kept coming to mind: Ashleigh Hunt, the indomitable young woman from our church diagnosed with osteosarcoma last August. Ashleigh is 20 years old with her whole life in front of her, once she beats this horrible disease. I am nearly 40 years older and enjoying good health. What's an hour of walking in a cold wind and wanting a nap this afternoon compared to Ashleigh's battle with bone cancer?
She's undergoing a brutal chemo regimen, had surgery to remove a tumor from her leg, lost her beautiful dark hair and made countless trips to Children's Hospital in Columbus. At the time of her diagnosis, Ashleigh reminded us that her God is so much bigger than this cancer. What an inspiration, what faith exhibited in this young woman. 
And so I walked, along with over 300 others. For Ashleigh. We're all praying for you, young lady. Fight like a girl!


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