Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Wish!


Many of us are in the middle of training. Yes it is only mid-February, but "base training" is in full force. So, this post is more of a reflection about why I do what I do....

It is the 10th anniversary of my daughter's diagnosis of Leukemia (AML). I wanted to see if I can make you all understand why people spend so much time training. I will post a series of articles, starting with the last one first and going back.

Rock and Roll Marathon 2000:

It wasn't the fact that I ran the marathon. It wasn't the fact that I finished the marathon. It wasn't the fact that I had a PR. It wasn't the fact that I ran my 5th marathon in 2 years. The fact was plain and simple: My daughter was able to take the trip with me!

Abby was diagnosed with AML (Acute Monocytic Leukemia) January 23rd, 1997. YES - this is the 10th anniversary. The battle was hard and long for Abby, but because of the awesome doctors and nurses at the University of Wisconsin hospital she was able to take the trip to San Diego with her dad some 3 years later. Abby had a great time the entire time while in San Diego. She didn't really understand the significance of this marathon to me. She didn't know that every step took those 26.2 miles was a step toward seeing her at the finish line.

It's funny, however, that I crossed the finish line alone. Abby was nowhere to be seen. This was sad to me. I wanted to see her so bad, I had dreamed about this scenario - I would run toward the finish line, grab Abby from the crowd, and cross the finish line with her in my arms.

I walked for about 15 min after the race looking for her (and the babysitter). I finally found her at the Leukemia Society Team in Training tent. When she saw me, she just smiled and screamed "DADDY." Looking back this was just perfect. Here is a little girl of 4 that was just on a trip to San Diego with her dad. She didn't care if I ran around the world, she just wanted to be a normal girl and do cool things. Maybe I didn't get to cross the finish line with her. I had something better. I had a healthy daughter, something I didn't think I would have when holding her so sick back in January 1997. Thanks to the research and advances in the cure, she got just what she wanted. Looking back, so did I - I had a healthy child!

So what do I want? I want to carry Abby across the 2007 Ironman Wisconsin finish line! that's why I do this!!!!!

2 comments:

Fe-lady said...

The best reason ever! (She had better be around when you arrive...cell phones?) :-)

Coach Adam said...

Stu,
Great thread devloping on TriScoop on addressing the needs of significant others in our multi-sport lives:
"Significant Others - Lettin..."