Running is “get-to” not “have-to”

So I begin the pilot post of this blog with a heavy heart and a story that is close to me right now. It starts with explaining to you who my sister, Tara McPheron, really is. Tara is the glue that holds the McPheron family together. She is the best friend you always want by your side and is there when it matters most. Whenever you are sick or hurt she is the first to call and to send a card. She constantly shows her love for others and you could not ask for a better person. Tara, like many of you reading this, is a runner. She was not always a runner but has found it to be a passion of hers over the past few years. Lately she has been getting really into it and decided she would begin training for her first Half Marathon (Pittsburgh) in May with her boyfriend, Keith.

Running is “get-to” not “have-to”

Tara required surgery on her ankle recently so she could hopefully run pain free. The surgery seemed to go well enough until a few days ago, when blood clots were discovered in her legs. She was taken to the doctors and put on blood thinners and bed rest for the rest of 2011. She will more than likely not be able to run for several months now as opposed to a few weeks off. Blood clots are scary as they can lead to life-threatening issues but Tara’s spirit is untouchable and we refuse to believe the clots won’t disappear in the near future.

Her spirit is the spirit that every runner should strive to develop in their running and their life. I know that she will come out of this even stronger and as Mumford and Sons says “find strength in pain”. She has the Winston Churchill attitude of “never give in, never give in”. The situation reminds me that running truly is a privilege. Running is not a have-to sport, it is a get-to sport. On your runs this week, run for those who can’t right now, those who never have, and those who never will get a chance to. I have two challenges for you this week. The first is to be thankful for each of your runs and tell yourself everyday that you “get to” run, not that you “have to” run today. Embrace it. It truly is a beautiful gift. The second is if you are fortunate enough to have someone like Tara in your life, tell them thank you and that you appreciate all they do, they deserve it.

Also if you have a few spare moments after reading this, please send your prayers, good, will, good vibes, positive energy or whatever it is you may believe in Tara’s way. If you have a moment to send her a quick get well message or wall post to lift her spirits at Tara’s Facebook, it would surely brighten her day.

Always in Stride,