When I initiated this fundraiser, I was utilizing the typical response given for runners’ motivations, “Because I Can,” but that only spoke to my involvement. Yeah, this was my idea, and I’m the one who’s going to be doing the running, and I’m the one writing the press releases, designing the logos, seeking out sponsors, and all that fun stuff, but this is, by no means, a solitary endeavor. This is not just about what I can do. This is for all of us, by all of us. It is the WE.
Because I could never do this alone. I need the assistance of the WE, of the sponsors who will help supply the shoes, the nutrition, and the trailer to help me get down the state, but most importantly, the financial donations of each generous individual to aid the recipients, the cancer patients, and the families managing cancer treatments through Family Reach programs. This MUST be a collective effort, even if I’m the only one doing the running.
Because although I can, WE are what will make this fundraiser count. WE are who will be able to assist those in such desperate need.
And yet, although there is something we all can do for others, there is always something WE need as well. And I want to address that too, but not as an act of charity, rather an act of mutual accomplishment.
I’m going to be running down the state, 50 miles a day, for 7 days straight…and I keep saying that because the potential to do so still leaves me apprehensive, and that’s a good thing. I’m going to do this…even though I’ve never proven that I can. Still, I’m going to try and I’m going to succeed, because I have to, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy or that I’m running entirely within my means, my proven boundaries, my understood potential and perceptions. I’m not…and that’s why this matters to me. I want to do more.
I’m also asking YOU to do more, but I’m not asking because I can do so with no skin off my back…which is why I’m putting my money where my mouth is, or where my feet are…but to reach new potentials together. If there is something WE can do together in this fundraiser, besides raise money for cancer patients and their families, it’s prove to ourselves that we have so much more potential than we know, that we can do so much more for ourselves than we are led to believe, that we are capable of so much more.
And that is the other component of the Because WE Can slogan.
We can all afford to spare finances, no matter how little, but when do we ever really put ourselves out there, ever put our abilities on the line, ever look at our perceived boundaries and potential and say, “That’s just an abstract…I can do more.”
If there is ever an important endeavor for us to take in our lives, it’s continuing to push against our perceived boundaries to see just what we can really do, especially as adults who have built empires of poor behaviors that pile up on top of each other, blocking our view of who we can really be. Adulthood is too often marked as a state of passivity, of learned and repeated behaviors that can’t be overcome and so one should not even try. It is a massive billboard that simply reads, CAN’T.
And that’s not true.
Whether that is your ability to lose weight. Whether that is your ability to get stronger. Whether that is your drive to find a more rewarding job, to downsize, to run further and faster, to leave an abusive relationship, to open yourself emotionally, to learn new skills, to find greater and greater confidence…to simply become a better person by your definitions…we can.
Now, don’t take this as some abstract, feel good, internet meme sloganeering, because that is not the social capital in which I deal. I mean that WE CAN become better, in honest, genuine, TANGIBLE ways. The path to doing so can be varied for each individual, but the path does exist and it’s up to each of us to find a way to become better, to living our perceived heaven in the now.
For me, this run is very much part of that drive to become better, to find new boundaries, to test my potentials and see how far I can take them.
And for what it’s worth. I have cancer. I tell myself this from time to time, because the narrative that comes along with this forced identity is one of being unable, of being sickly, weak, compromised…dying. But no matter how much truth resides in those descriptors, they aren’t ENTIRELY true. So part of this run is to say, WE CAN do more, and I’m going to prove it, WITH cancer, as one more way of erasing the excuses we accept into our lives, that limit our potentials, that keep us confined in so many unhealthy, abusive situations through only our accepted limited potentials.
I want this run and this fundraiser and this effort to be for all of us, for the cancer patients and their families, for myself, for our potential, for the push to become better, kinder, more understanding, more caring, more honest, more genuine individuals.
I’m going to do this Because I Can, but also to prove that WE CAN.
Let’s start with donating to those who are so (temporarily) limited by finances, chemotherapy, and cancer…then move ahead with finding new potentials in ourselves.
In addition to blogging about my thoughts on running, this fundraiser, veganism, life, cancer, etc., I also want to get back to documenting my training and eating, like I did leading up to my marathon back in 2009. I plan on posting a small summary (periodically) at the end of each blog post…if that’s something your interested in.
6 mile recovery run and Strength routine
Oatmeal (w/ flax, chia, banana, blueberries, peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, brown sugar)
2 clementines and 2 bananas
Beanoa (quinoa, salsa, spinach, mushrooms, pepper)
Quinoa w/ spinach and pasta sauce
Stick To Your Guns – Disobedient