Put Yourself Aside & Press On

Today I participated in the Susan G. Komen Greater New York 5k representing a member of the CBS family. This post isn’t all inspiring with an epiphany moment, it’s simply honest.

Last night my stomach hurt and I thought to myself “would anyone know if I didn’t show up”, a common thought I have even before simply attending a workout class. I woke up this morning tired and thinking of over 15 excuses, but I forced myself out of bed and got ready. I walked to Central Park, up Central Park West to the 72nd St. entrance still with thoughts of how I would rather be in bed. As the blow horn sounded signifying for everyone to start moving I put in my headphones and forced myself to just keep moving.

My pace alternated between walking, which in New York can be considered speed walking because you WILL break a sweat at that pace, and a jog. As I jogged past the numerous Girl Scout troops, cheerleaders, and water tables cheering us on I forced up a smile to show my gratitude.

If anyone knows the Susan G. Komen Greater New York 5k you would know the path of the run starts at 75th and Central Park West, goes up to 90th St. dips down into the park and around to the 60th St. entrance and back up, cutting over at 72nd St. to Bathesda Fountain. After jogging up to 90th St. and back down, just passing 72nd I began to catch up with the breast cancer survivors who got a head start and lead the 5k. Some were speeding along and others were taking their time. I took this time to notice the Bank of America remembrance/celebration cards pinned to the back of their shirts which read not only “myself” as survivors, but also “all my sisters”, “my aunt”, “my mom”, and numerous other names, some of whom who had passed away. The average amount on each card was 4 names.

That’s when I realized something. This race had nothing to do with me. Whether I showed up or not it really wouldn’t have mattered. My amazing family members sponsored me for the race and the money raised would still be donated. Then I remembered the cute “good luck tomorrow” texts from my mom and thought to myself, “I love my family dearly, and luckily they’re all in good health, but sometimes life just changes, and you don’t understand why”.

Anyone can be diagnosed with breast cancer, over 40,450 people die from breast cancer each year. Those women surrounding me beat the statistic, but unfortunately, some people they knew did not. I was part of a group collectively together taking a stance for more research for a cure for this disease and to help women who are diagnosed have a better quality of life. Our actions depicted that we want change, we want a cure and better diagnostics screenings to ensure less people are affected by this disease, or even if they are, that they survive.

I’m sure those women surrounding me also struggled to get up in the morning, no matter how big of a smile they had on their faces. But, even more so, I’m sure they were floored when they were diagnosed with breast cancer. They probably had numerous days they didn’t want to get out of bed, especially if it was a day they had chemo, and I’m sure their family members had similar days as well. When we support a cause it has nothing to do with ourselves. The donations are not tax deductions, and the events aren’t something to post on Instagram to make yourself seem like a better person. We are standing together, supporting those affected. Today I ran for those women and for all the future women whom this disease will affect. My presence was one more person saying we do not want more people dying of breast cancer, and to the survivors it was visualizing my support.

My grandfather’s favorite quote was “Press On” by Calvin Coolidge. I often re-look at it when I’m struggling in school or a hard moment, but today it took on a new meaning. It was a motto these women lived by to conquer this disease. I took on that motto for about two hours today to show my support, and in the grand scheme of things it is nothing compared to all that they have endured.

So get up and support a cause! Walk, run, or jog in a 5k for a cause you believe in (my tip is to do it in October or November when it’s cooler out) and show your solidarity! In the morning when you have to wake up ay 7 am on a day you’d be able to sleep in, remember to “press on” and be appreciative of everything and everyone you are gifted with in this life!

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