Archive for January, 2011

It is hard to imagine the chaotic scene in Arizona this past Saturday. As I followed the news throughout the weekend, I could not stop thinking about the people and families whose lives were destroyed and affected by one person’s senseless acts. The old saying “life changes in an instant” is only too real to me and all the others affected by SCI, and now once again brought to light by this horrific shooting and violence.

Since the whole news show during this morning’s run focused on this tragic event, I decided to run and think about all the people affected in AZ: the 9 year old girl and her family; the Federal Judge and his family, and the many others who were either killed or wounded. So much information has not yet been released, understandably, but my heart goes out to these people. And what about the bystanders, lucky to be alive, but witnesses to such horror.

I know for me, since Darren’s injury, I don’t take much for granted anymore. I try to realize all the good there is in my life, all the people I love and who love me, all that I am thankful for. Life can and does change in an instant – that we are all too familiar with. Enjoy every day, every person, every ray of sunshine and even every drop of rain. Concentrate on the important things and “don’t sweat the small stuff.”

I guess all this introspective thinking helped my run today, because I felt pretty good during and even after the workout. At least my body did; my mind was confused and perplexed trying to sort out such unneccesary tragedy. My thoughts are with those affected in Arizona.



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Hi Everyone,

Well, my minor injuries and less running this past week really had me feeling those 6 miles today. UGH! I did not want to take my chances with snow, ice and lack of running room on the shoulder of the roads, so I stayed inside on the treadmill once again. I really wasn’t looking forward to that, but today it was a necessity. Especially since I can’t afford to slip, fall, and otherwise hurt myself. So I made the 6 miles in rather ugly fashion, and wonder HOW in the world I will run 26 miles! Oh my……….

Today I was thinking about Kelly and how much I enjoy seeing her come to Push to Walk. Kelly has been coming quite a while, and I have seen her come out of her shell over the past few years. Now I didn’t know Kelly before her injury, so I don’t have any basis for comparing what she’s like now to what she was like pre-injury, but from what I’ve learned over the years is that people are pretty much who they are, pre-injury, post-injury, whatever. A person’s personality stays pretty much intact, although certain traits may be exaggerated. For instance, if a person tended to be depressed and anxious, they will still be that way, only maybe it’s more frequent or serious. If someone was a happy, satisfied person pre-injury, chances are they will once again rely on those qualities in dealing with an injury. I realize this is a broad generalization, but many many people have described themselves or their loved ones in this way.

Kelly is a pretty young woman who has a beautiful smile and a great sense of humor. She banters back and forth with the trainers, and it’s obvious she has a good rapport with all of them. She is the funniest when talking about Eric’s orange “short short” running shorts, and we’ve both agreed they should be outlawed! Kelly works hard during her workouts, but she finds time to joke and enjoy good conversations, too.

I remember very clearly meeting her Mom for the first time. We had a few e-mail and phone conversations, then met at the California Pizza Kitchen in Wayne for something to eat. Kelly’s injury was one year after Darren’s, and her Mom had somehow found my daily e-mails on Darren’s website (www.darrentempleton.com). Poor Kelly was so tired of hearing “Darren did this” and “Darren did that.” Who was this kid Darren anyway?? But her Mom really felt like the e-mails helped her, reading about what we went through was eerily similar to her experiences. By the way, those e-mails are now all catalogued on the Push to Walk website under the Family Corner tab (www.pushtowalknj.org/familycordner.html).

I felt like we had known each other for years after just our first meeting. We Moms, Dads and loved ones all feel a camaraderie with each other. Who else possibly understands what we are going through?

I am fortunate to know a lot of Kelly’s family – her parents, her brother (who I haven’t seen in a few years but Kelly and her Mom tell me stories!), and two sets of grandparents. Her entire family is just SO loving and supportive. It is no wonder that Kelly has the positive outlook I see when she comes to Push to Walk.

So as I struggled with my run today, trying to concentrate not on how awful I felt, but how grateful I am to have the ability to run, I thought of Kelly. I see her standing, playing Wii Soccer, throwing a ball – whatever I happen to catch when I wander out into the gym to see what’s going on. I think of her laughing and telling stories at our recent dinner out, and she gave me the motivation I needed today.

Thank you for brightening my days, Kelly, and for bringing your lively spirit to Push to Walk a few times a week. Thank you for letting us help you on your journey! We’re with you all the way!

Happy Weekend! Cynthia

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I was suffering through a few aches and pains when I decided to re-read the book “Marathoning for Mortals” by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield. Boy, was I glad I did! I had forgotten a lot of the “rules” I should have been following for training. So I got back to basics. My training program called for a bit lighter week in terms of running, so I took an extra rest day and ran a little today although it was a scheduled cross training day. I just had to see how I would feel after 30 minutes of running. I had to do it on the treadmill, as the snow had already started, but I was content with that, to gauge how I felt. So far, so good. Still no pain in my left hip, and the strange pain that was moving around my left calf has also not resurfaced. I am suspect of my new shoe inserts, and I will get them checked. But in the meantime, I feel ready to tackle 6 miles tomorrow. Hopefully I can run outside!

I have also realized that not blogging for several days finds me with way too many things to mention in one blog! So now I am going to commit to blogging at least every other day if I can’t manage once a day. Otherwise there’s just too much information that’s getting left behind!

Please check out our website, www.pushtowalknj.org, for new information about our next two fund raising events. One is the 2nd Annual Casino Night featuring a Texas Held ‘Em Tournament on Friday, March 25, and the other is, of course, the NJ Marathon on May 1st. There are links to details for both events, and I hope you’ll check them out!

Figuring that maybe the weathermen would be right and we would get snow today, I brought work home with me, which turned out to be a good thing. On last night’s news, I saw a little preview of an interview with Eric LeGrand that was going to be on ESPN this morning. Luckily, I was able to see it, and it was great to hear him talking about his hopes for recovery. I don’t know Eric or anyone in his family, but of course I have been following his story since his injury occurred. Listening to his words, and his Mom’s, and seeing her face and feeling her emotion was really tough. I know that my feelings about Darren’s injury and all that has happened are always just beneath the surface. How can they not be? Some days/weeks/months they are kept at bay, but usually not for long. Some little reminder, a picture, a conversation – whatever it may be can bring all those feelings right to the surface all over again. I talk about this with other parents and loved ones, and we all acknowledge the same thing. But we find a way to go on, to focus on the good things, the improvements, the positives. That’s what I hope the LeGrand family can do, too. I hope I get to meet them and tell them myself in the coming weeks and months. I hope I can help them in some small way.

Wish me well for my 6 mile run tomorrow, and I already know who I’m running for. I’ll be excited to think about her, her family and all that she has accomplished – all the things that will help me not only get through 6 miles, but enjoy the journey!


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After the finish at the 2008 MORE Marathon

Happy New Year everyone!

For my 7 mile run this past Saturday, I chose a familiar route, but kind of forgot how hard the hills were. They weren’t so hard in the beginning, when of course I wasn’t tired and there were more downhills than uphills. But oh were they tough on the way back! It wasn’t pretty, but I made it! And I was pretty darn proud of myself!

Since it was New Year’s Day, I was thinking about all the things I’ve read recently that refer to resolutions, goals, “new year, new you” kind of themes. Even a recent editorial that struck me as being kind of selfish that recommended that women spend more time on and for themselves. I like taking care of me, too, just as much as anyone, I guess. Hey, isn’t this marathon training all about me?? But to make myself the focus of the new year just didn’t sit right with me.

Instead, I was recalling recent info I’d received from Scott Chesney, a great guy and motivational speaker. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Scott and spending some quality time with him in the past several years. Sometimes we see each other at conferences or expos, but the two best times I’ve had with Scott were over lunch. Anyway, one of Scott’s messages that has stayed in my mind is one of “gratitude.” Having gratitude and showing others gratitude. His message is simple yet powerful. Check out his site, www.scottchesney.com. What I’ve found thru Scott’s words are enough to keep me inspired for many, many miles.

My run continued and ended with thinking about how can I make other people happy. First, I would have to be in a good state of mind myself. Positive and energized. Then, I have to connect with others and take that extra step, think that extra thought, say that extra word that shows kindness and compassion. I’ve found it’s usually little things that can make a big difference, both in my life and someone else’s.

So here’s to a positive attitude, staying energized, feeling and showing gratitude, and trying to bring a smile to someone else’s face. Here’s to a great 2011!!!


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