"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

Monday, October 17, 2011

Strength in Numbers - the Power of Liz, Teamwork and Perseverance

Below is a write up about one of our WR girls who was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer a little over a year ago. She has been such a motivator to our group in many ways.....

You never know what life is going to hand you. Yet it is in how you handle it that matters.

"We are always getting ready to live, but never living" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Liz was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a year ago. I remember the day she told me. She was getting ready to come to our running group the following week and wanted to train for the 1/2 marathon in the Adirondacks. Her back hurt her and she was going for a check up the following day and then planned to attend the next running group. Plans changed almost overnight for Liz when she was told she had ovarian cancer. What was a road to running turned into a much harder road of cancer treatments.

Throughout the year, Liz endured her road with grace. And her running became more important to her and brought her more strength than physical. And what was also so impressive - the girls that supported her along the way. The meals brought, the walks, the runs, the moral support was amazing.

Liz did not give up. I believe I can speak for more than me - Liz, in so many ways, is so strong and such an example to us all. The weather was bad, cold, raining - she was out in it. And if Liz is out, surely there is no excuse for the others. Her friends that supported her, in turn, she was also supporting them on a road to health.

Liz sent me many beautiful messages about how she was so thankful for all the girls that have helped her. She also talked about her next race. And so we put a schedule together for her to follow. And she trained while also pulling a group to train along with her!

And now it is Fall. Liz has finished her treatments...she looks better than I have ever seen her. Liz ran her 1/2 marathon, the Ovarian Cancer run, and I believe I heard her last week on the trails "I really like the trails" (mind you, she was never too fond of them, so to hear that...I had to have her repeat it a couple of times!).

What was the most touching of all of this was our run last week in Pratts Falls. Beautiful Fall Day, peak colors, perfect temps. We were going along. And Liz stopped with tears in her eyes and having a bit of trouble breathing...."I'm not crying because I'm sad. I'm crying because I am happy. Its Fall, and I remember last year thinking on a day like this that it would be my last Fall. And here I am, on this beautiful day".

We should all learn from this. Appreciate the beautiful moments, take in something amazing...everyday is a miracle. Liz, you have been a blessing and miracle to us all, and surely have opened our eyes to see what is important. I'm so thankful for that perspective that you have shared with me and the others.

"Strength does not come from a physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will" Gandhi

Below is a picture of Liz with the many Whole Running girls supporting her in the Ovarian Cancer Run. WR was the largest team and raised the most money.

You can click on the picture to see it larger!


  1. AS I read this through... with ,I think happy tears...I am truly moved by Liz and her heroism...I am proud to call myself a WHOLE RUNNER and to be part of a group of such strong and beautiful women. Thank you to Liz, Jill, Julie and all my WR friends for helping me to stop and appreciate the moment...Your All the BEST! Diane

  2. Jill and I were talking recently and I had told her that I believe everything happens for a reason. Although I am not able to make sense of how or why I became sick there is one thing I am sure of and that is how lucky I was to have had Jill and all the whole running girls by my side this past year.

    When faced with a diagnosis of cancer you can't help but think of the "what if's". Sometimes these can be an unhealthy use of time but often they can show you just how lucky you are.
    I often think.... What if my husband and I had not bought a home in manlius ny....what if I had not decided to send my son to the preschool down the road...what if, at that preschool, I had not noticed the blond haired mom in her running clothes with a smile on her face...and what if a red haired "yoga chick" had not approached me one day saying "I think you should join our running group" (I think she may have also mumbled something about not having to drink the kool-aid)

    I am so proud to be a whole runner and  feel very lucky to have Jill and all the wr girls in my life. I don't know how I would have made it through this year without all of them.

    Whole running girls were there for me when I was first diagnosed, they were with me at the hospital after my surgery (some even in costumes), they brought my family meals, came to visit me at my home, offered rides and trips to the grocery store. They made me laugh and smile,  took care of my son so I could recover from surgery and then again when I felt sick during chemo. They were there to run with me during my first few chemo cycles and then walk with me when I was at the point where I could no longer run. They were with me when I shaved my head and there to text me when I felt bad and needed a friend to talk to (I could always count on a reply from Jill in the early morning hours before she headed out to run and her texts always made me smile).
    In march, when the chemo was done,  they were there waiting for me and ready to help me run again.
    And most recently, they were with me at the ovarian cancer 5k (with awards for first place female and largest team fundraiser) and again last week during my half marathon.

    Jill, you have no idea how much you help and inspire the women in your group. The amount of time you spend with us and the way you are so committed to helping each and every one of us, is truly amazing. Without you, I would not be a runner and I thank you for giving me that gift!

  3. Liz, right back at you! You have given a gift to us all - the gift of your strength. I like this quote, which can replace athlete for anything we are dealt with in life:

    •"As an athlete, when you least expect it, you may find yourself standing on the threshold of an accomplishment so monumental that it strikes fear into your soul. You must stand ready, at any moment, to face the unknown. You must be ready to walk boldly thru the wall of uncertainty."

  4. It was so awesome to see Liz the day of the Ovarian Cancer run. She looked so strong and determined already after so little time had gone by. You go Liz! You are incredible and kudos to all the girls who helped her along the way.

    Katey B