by Jeremy Chance

Challenge: Complete!

This morning was the Purdue Center for Cancer Research 5k Challenge, and I am currently writing this from my bed recovering!!

It’s really hard to describe how the whole thing felt. I’ve never really done anything to that extent. I’ve definitely never run that distance in one running.

As I mentioned in my last post, my decision to do this was partially based on the fact that I wanted a tangible test to show to myself that all of my hard work working out is paying off. But another reason I wanted to do this particular run was the cause. I think most people in one way or another have been affected by cancer. I know my nana had cancer. I’m pretty confident my other grandma had cancer. My old third grade teach died from cancer. I don’t know what else really to say other than cancer sucks! So to be able to participate in an event that all the proceeds go directly to the cancer research center, it was really an awesome opportunity.

I woke up early this morning, and I had to eat my Wheaties! Breakfast of champs…obviously. I walked out of my place and it looked pretty crappy outside. It was actually pretty chilly too! I drove over to the stadium, and I guess I wasn’t thinking how big of a deal it would be because I was not expecting the parking lot to be packed! There were so many people there!

I was still pretty nervous about running it. It was over 3 miles, and it was also in a hilly stretch of campus. The first mile was relatively flat, but mile 2 was mostly uphill.

I really had two main goals for the run. The first was to finish in under a half hour, and the second was to run the whole time. I’ll tell you what though, after that big up hill on McCormick, I had to stop and walk for a hundred feet or so. I was a little disappointed.

However, I legitimately felt like a real runner right at the start of mile 3. There were people handing out little cups of water. So while I was running, I grabbed a cup, drank it and threw it on the ground, just like I’ve seen legit runners do. I know it’s silly, but I felt pretty cool.

The last mile plus was pretty rough. There was another little uphill, and I again walked for another hundred feet or so, but I was so close to being finished.

When I turned back into the stadium and had the rest of the parking lot left, I got the chills, and I couldn’t help myself from smiling. I’ve realized that running/working out is one of those things that, facially, no one looks attractive. I don’t think most people necessarily smile while running. But while I was running up that last straight away, I literally couldn’t help myself from smiling. I knew I was about to accomplish something that was really cool, something I never even considered I would do.

As I got close to the finish, I saw the clock was just past 28 minutes, and that’s when I really started to grin. I knew I was about to accomplish the time goal that I had set for myself. My official time was 28:08!

I can’t believe that I’m going to admit this, but I’m generally pretty honest and open with you all, and I think most of you enjoy reading that kind of writing. After I crossed the finish line and I was walking it out, amidst the sweat on my face, I realized that I was crying a little bit. I have no idea why exactly I was crying. Now, I wasn’t bawling; tears weren’t streaming down my face.

But I could just feel myself get really emotional. I’m not sure if it’s because I accomplished something positive when I often times have negativity running through my head. I’m not sure if it’s because it really hit me the cause of the run. I’m not sure if it’s simply because that’s all I had left to do. I don’t know. It’s kind of silly thinking about it now, but after it was over and I was stretching out and cooling down I just had this overwhelming sense of emotion.

I think the coolest things I saw while I was running was watching people wearing “survivor” shirts actually running in this event. Participants got white t-shirts, but if you were a cancer survivor, you got a special yellow shirt that had “SURVIVOR” on the back. While I was running there were just a number of people wearing these shirts, and it was so cool to see that. Cancer isn’t impossible to beat. It doesn’t have to be a crippling, life-altering thing. Sure, it’s probably the toughest thing to go through. I don’t doubt that at all. It was just really cool to see people not let it change who they are or hinder what they are able to do.

It was humbling, honestly, and it made me realize how truly blessed I am.

Thanks for reading about my 5k experience. I hope you can all gain something from what I write about. I write what I feel and think and experience, and I can only hope that those of you who take the time to read what I have to say really gain something…anything..from what I have to say.

Have a wonderful day! I’m probably going to take a nap! 🙂