Why Do I Run?

Why Do I Run?

Someone recently asked me if I find running Race for the Cure to be therapeutic.  My immediate answer was, “yes, of course!”  But later, while I was cleaning up from the post-Race party I hosted, and everyone was gone, and my apartment was covered in pink paraphernalia, and I was attempting to take my pink ribbon tattoo off (with nail polish remover – not a good idea), I stopped to think about what makes this day so special to me year after year.

I find the day therapeutic, but much more importantly, I find the day filled with a level of energy that I can palpate with every step I take. It is a day commemorating many people whose lives ended way too early, but it also somehow overflows with hope. Most of all, I find the day inspiring.

As I ran the Race course and struggled along, wondering when, if ever, Mile Marker 2 would appear, I caught a glimpse of a fellow runner wearing a Team Sharsheret t-shirt. I realized the runner was Rochelle Shoretz, Sharsheret’s Founder, the mother of two children, a woman battling breast cancer for a second time. At first I was surprised that she would be running all on her own, she is after all the Founder of this very well-known national organization. She seemed focused, determined, and at peace. I started running alongside her and had the following brief interaction.

Rochelle: “Thank you so much for joining and running with us.”

Me: “The pleasure is all mine. I thank you for bringing us all together.”

Rochelle: “No, it is my honor to be running with you.”

And after that, she sprinted ahead of me, continuing on with that same determination. While watching her run ahead, I realized that we all inspire each other.  She is not running alone at all, but running with each and every one of us. As I ran, I felt a new ignited fire to run for each name that was scribbled on my back.  I was wearing names of women I did not know for friends who couldn’t make it to the Race that day to run in their honor.  And of course, I was running for my mother. And with every step I took, I felt her presence, saw her smile, heard her laugh, and remembered her love for life.

And so I wanted to thank my family and  friends for being a part our mission. To those who donated money or raised money, those who helped with the planning or dealt with my crazy nuances, those who stood on the side lines with coffee in hand, those who had to work but were there in spirit, those who pushed wheel chairs, those who walked with bad injuries, and those who ran by side as we huffed and puffed, and encouraged me to the finish line. You are all what makes this day so special, and it is my honor to have you all share this day with me.

See you in 2012!

By: Miriam Kolb of New York City, Team Sharsheret 2011 Member