A letter to an Unknown Inspiration

Dear Lung Cancer Survivor:

You don’t know me, and we’ve never actually spoken, so it may seem odd that I think of you often on tough runs when I’m looking for inspiration.   I see you frequently on the greenways surrounding the Triangle and at various races.  You always wear a shirt that says “Lung Cancer Survivor” and each time as we pass each other I am in awe of you.   I always wonder about your story, how you beat lung cancer, and how you use that to fuel your running.

I most recently saw you at the RDC Half and Full Marathon.  I was on mile 7 when we passed each other.  I don’t know how you were feeling at that moment in the race, but I was grumbling because it was so COLD and I was hungry because I forgot to pack enough fuel.  When I saw you, I had this intense feeling of gratitude wash over me.  I turned and looked at my friend with this goofy grin on my face and said, “This is actually kinda fun.  We are so lucky to be able to run.”  When I saw you, I was immediately reminded me of how blessed I am to be healthy enough to run.   Every time I see you, I stop and say a prayer of thanks for both my health and yours.

Please don’t stop running sir.  You have no idea how many people you are inspiring to get that extra mile in.                                                                                                                                                                 -Sara

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