This story told by Aaron Trieu.
For the longest time, I was the guy who didn’t like to run – I gave up quickly when I tried it and I definitely didn’t think running a marathon would be for me. That all changes this November, when I will run my first ever marathon in Las Vegas with Team in Training, an organization that helps novices like me train for endurance events while fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
I signed up right before a scheduled vacation in Europe, so to avoid falling behind early I took a pair of running shoes with me and ran my first 2 miles in Rome, 4 miles in Florence a week later, and 6 miles in Nice, and a final run along the coast of Spain before returning home. Since then I’ve kept up with the training, giving up my lazy weekend mornings, very unhappy to rise before the sun but ultimately glad I did it by the end of another long run.
Why am I doing this? A simple answer would be that I used to be badly out of shape, and physical challenges like this have helped me to improve my health and quality of life over the last few years. I could also tell you that losing my grandma to cancer several years ago connects me to the cause – while the focus of LLS is to provide support and help find cures for blood cancer patients, their work benefits the greater battle against all cancers.
These 2 reasons would be good enough on their own, but there is also a reason that I didn’t realize until after signing up. It is so enriching to be around a community of people who dedicate their energy to end seemingly insurmountable diseases and who offer a collective embrace to those who struggle in the meantime. While training with TnT, I have met many other people with close connections to the cause, including those who have lost loved ones to cancer and who now dedicate their energy toward the benefit of others who still battle, which is a touching and inspiring way of channeling grief in the face of hardship. I am so grateful for the opportunity to hear these stories and to be able to play a small part in them through my efforts.
I’m also learning about the importance and the power of the team vs. the individual. I, or anyone else in my network, can only contribute so much to a given cause, but when that is pooled together with the support of others the combined result can add up to something with real, significant impact! I have set a goal of raising $4,000 this year as a 35-year-old first-time marathoner and am getting closer to making that a reality every day with the help of family and friends! If you would like to donate, please check out my team page by clicking here.
If you can’t donate, please just share my page with your friends and family. Sharing is a great way to volunteer virtually!
Thank you all!