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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

Today, my favorite running slogan wasn’t making much sense to me. “Running is not with the legs or the mind; it is with the heart.” Well, my heart was very heavy today. Last night I received word that a dear friend’s brother was lost to cancer at a young age, far too young to die. I also received news that a long time school friend was diagnosed with a very rare, but aggressive form of cancer in January, and he is undergoing a chemo treatment and hopefully a stem cell treatment in the near future. Add to that another friend’s husband who is battling cancer himself at an advanced stage.

Every one of us has a family member or friend who has been touched with the disease. Some of you reading this have even been diagnosed yourselves. No one is immune from its effects; no one’s lives hasn’t been touched by it. It seems like the medical field has made so many gains against cancer, yet the number of people still struggling for their lives is so staggering.

Stories like the above are a reality check for me. There is so much sadness, grief and disbelief in the diagnosis of and battle with cancer. While I personally know of stories with happy endings, the end result is too often tragic – a person taken way too early, a family left behind, a child lost too young.

Even if we exercise and stay fit, eat wisely and live a healthy lifestyle, there are no guarantees. We can try to avoid those things known to cause cancer, but oftentimes, that isn’t even enough. It’s scary, isn’t it? I was awake a long time last night contemplating this awful disease, thinking about these three people and the others I know whose lives have been affected by cancer. So this morning’s run, with heavy heart, was for my friends mentioned above. With thoughts and prayers for strength and hope and successful treatments – may we all help each other in times of crisis and just be there for each other.

Hug your loved ones and enjoy life each and every day. As I am reminded each day by a print in my office: Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much.

Cynthia

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Hi Everyone,

I’m back from a wonderful week of skiing at Jackson Hole, and am ready to write again. Sorry for the lapse. While on my ski vacation, I did manage to keep up with my training pretty well. I ran twice and rode the exercise bike once. I was huffing and puffing with the high altitude, but I finished my runs as scheduled. We got back Saturday night, and I did my long run for the week on Sunday, which throws off my schedule a bit, but luckily it was only 6 miles this week. This coming Saturday I need to run 14 miles, and I am hoping, hoping, hoping I can do it outside!

I have continued to follow the “Marathoning for Mortals” program, but have decided to add a strengthing component to my weekly routine. It will not be easy to add yet another thing to my mornings, but I am getting very worried that I am not going to be strong enough thru these next two months of training to make the entire distance. And now, with all that is invested in this event, I want to do everything I can to make sure I am successful. So that will start in the next few days, and I am very excited about it!

In case you don’t know, Team Push to Walk will be participating in the NJ Marathon and Half Marathon on May 1 in Long Branch. If you’d like to support me, or any other members of our team, please visit our website where you can check out everyone who has joined and support us in our efforts: www.pushtowalknj.org. If you are interested in joining us, please let me know! We have about 25 people registered so far, and we’d love to have more!

This week, I’ll get back to dedicating my runs for Push to Walk clients and other people with spinal cord injuries. Being away for a week is always a good thing – enjoying time with my husband, being with friends, making new friends – it’s a good way to recharge the batteries and get new perspectives on things. New friends we met have a granddaughter with progeria, a very rare, fatal disease of accelerated aging in children. Learning about this little girl, her family and their efforts in getting involved with the Progeria Research Foundation was a real eye opener. Living in the world of spinal cord injury can become all-consuming at times, but it is important to remember there are lots of other people out there dealing with their own devastating, challenging situations. Check out www.teamzoey.com and www.progeriaresearch.org to learn more about little Zoey and this disease.

Stay tuned for more client stories – I’ll be writing soon!

Cynthia

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Between the snow storms and traveling for the weekend, I have been neglectful of my blog – sorry! But I’m back……….

We were supposed to leave this past Thursday for North Carolina, but were sidelined by the storm that day. We went to the airport, but came back home after being notified we would have a flight very early on Friday morning. I did a short run on the treadmill on Thursday afternoon, which was good, because I knew the next few days would be very busy and I probably wouldn’t have time to keep up with my training.

When we arrived in NC on Friday morning, we drove to meet my friends Andy and Dawn Bricker who founded Race to Walk in Mooresville, about 30 minutes from Charlotte. We enjoyed a very nice breakfast together before heading over to see their place. Dawn has an SCI, and she and her husband traveled to CA, researched a few places, and decided to start their own independent program. I was SO impressed by what I saw – they have a great program, facility and staff. Congratulations to them, and I am so glad I have been a part of helping them get their program off the ground. It has been wonderful working with them, and getting to know them. Check out their website: www.racetowalk.org.

After visiting with Andy and Dawn, we drove a few hours to see friends of ours who moved to NC about 4 years ago. We had a wonderful time with Diane and Dave McIntee, enjoyed a nice dinner together, and spent lots of time catching up. Thanks for your hospitality and showing us around your new “neck of the woods!” We’ll be sure to visit again, in warmer weather, although the weekend was 70’s and sunny (a whole lot better than NJ!).

Saturday and Sunday activities revolved around the NHL All Star Game, and we had a great time! The skills competition and the game were lots of fun, along with the street fair and other festivities. I was thinking about how much our lives have revolved around hockey, and realized that would be a future blog – too much to write about here!

I kept up with my training by doing a 6 mile run in the hotel gym on Sunday morning. I missed one day last week and will miss another day this week, so hopefully I’ll do OK this Saturday when I am scheduled to run 10 miles! Oy! I am hoping I can run outside, as 10 miles is a LONG time to run on a treadmill, and I have my fingers crossed that the next storm forecasted is later than Saturday morning!!! After the storms yesterday and this morning, the roads are a mess, but I am hoping they are clear enough to run by Saturday.

I promise to get back to my client stories and training detail in the next blog. Just wanted to catch up today! Take care and stay warm, dry and safe!

Cynthia

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I met Betty in the Fall of 1977 moving into my dorm room at Kean College. Betty was carrying a wicker hamper and I was, well, limping along on crutches! It was, obviously, a memorable meeting that I can recall in great detail even though it was more than 30 years ago! (I wonder why I’m even admitting that!) Wow, that was a long time ago, and much has happened in both of our lives since that fateful meeting. Betty is one of my dearest and best friends, to this day, and I thank the powers that be in the dorm room assignment office that they matched Betty and me to be in the same apartment. We did something a little sly back then when we realized we were in the same apartment but different bedrooms and we changed the name placards so we’d be together. It really was fate that our match was made in “roommate heaven.”

By the way, I was on crutches because John & I had a motorcycle accident that tore up my knee pretty badly. Except for some nasty scars that I still sport on my right knee, I was lucky not to have been injured worse. 

As soon as I knew Darren was being airlifted to Atlantic City Medical Center after being pulled from the bay, Betty was the first person I called. Having just gotten home from working there, she was already on her way out the door to meet me by the time the words were completely out of my mouth. She knew the seriousness of the situation from my very first word. She and her husband arrived shortly after I did, and were with me during those crucial first hours.    

Betty and Rick were with us in Atlantic City and Philadelphia as often as possible. Betty also came to Atlanta and stayed with me while Darren was at the Shepherd Center. And of course her visits continued once we were back in Kinnelon. Even though it’s a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, distance has never separated us. She was and still is a source of strength, friendship and knowledge. As an Occupational Therapist, she knew what to look for, what milestones to strive for, and how to help us attempt to cope with all that was happening.

As people with very strong faith, Betty and Rick tried to hold us all up. They spread the word of Darren’s injury to family and friends, and I know even today, more than 6 years later, their friends still tell me they pray for Darren. And I know Betty and Rick do, too. For that I am very grateful.

Last April, Betty and I made plans to get both families together – everyone – no exceptions! It was so great to have us all together, sharing dinner and each other’s company. Our children have all grown into wonderful, mature young people, and it was a special treat to be all together for an evening.

As I ran my 5 miles this morning, I thought of Betty and the many celebrations we have shared. Our birthdays are only 2 weeks apart, our wedding anniversaries one month apart and our childrens’ birthdays close together. We have shared so many fun times together, and when times were tough, she has always been there for me. 

Our next joint goal will be the NJ Marathon. I’ll be running the full; Betty will be running the half.  We’ll have a lot to celebrate that day, and mostly it won’t be the running, but to celebrate love, friendship and accomplishments that have spanned several decades. I look forward to several more decades of friendship in the future.

My friend, Betty. I love you. 

Cynthia

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