I heard a little boy ask his dad that very question this morning while running the LIVESTRONG Philly 10k race. The father was explaining to his son that they were running in honor of a friend of his, who had cancer. “He didn’t survive, ” the father said, to which the little boy responded, “What is Survive?”
I didn’t hear what the father answered, as I had already gone into my head, asking myself that very question. As I ran the rest of the race, I came up with a few answers:
1. It’s waking up for days in a row, feeling like you don’t want to get out bed, but doing it anyway, until the day you finally want to get up again.
2. It’s watching someone close to you suffer, knowing there’s nothing you can do about it, but be there for them, and allow them to inspire you to be better.
3. It’s being better.
4. It’s the voice that says “keep going” when you think you can’t take another step. You can.
5. It’s forgiving AND forgetting.
6. It’s enjoying, appreciating, and being grateful for the little miracles that are all around us and happen every day.
7. It’s constantly broadening your scope – you’re never too old to learn something entirely new.
8. It’s laughing, loving, and being with friends and family.
9. It’s taking full responsibility for yourself and your actions.
10. It’s living with your eyes open, being awake, aware, and alive.
11. It’s having fun while you’re at it. :)
A year ago today, I woke up and headed out to my first ever “official” race – The LIVESTRONG Philadelphia Challenge. It was a 10k, and I was anxious about running that distance. I was nervous, sad, and alone, and I cried on the way there. This morning, I headed out to that very same race, and again cried on the way- this time out of joy and amazement in the difference one year and 9 races can make in a person. Live strong and prosper, everyone. You’re worth it.