Monday, November 8, 2010

Chilly weather, a good cry and a bowl of chili

We had our first cold snap this weekend. For Floridians, the first sign of cold weather sends us into a frenzy. We blow out our arsenal of winter clothes at the first drop of the mercury. We are convinced that the colder weather will decidedly bring on pneumonia in our children, therefore, they walk around closely resembling Ralphie's little brother from A Christmas Story.

Seriously, folks. The low was 55°.

I was finally beginning to feel better after the crud, but I had not trained during the week because I had been feeling so lousy. Saturday, I feared, was a day of reckoning. And cold weather to boot.

For the most part, the run was good. It was short by weekend training standards. Only eight miles compared to the 10 of a few weeks ago. It was cumbersome to run with a light jacket wrapped around my waist, but I was okay.

Until the last 2 miles. My right hip started acting up. I don't know if it was the cold, the lack or runs during the week or if I hadn't stretched enough. We had a slight wind going on the way back on our route, so it felt as though I was working harder to move. I was miserable. I ran, but at shortened time intervals. I finished, happy to be back to doing something I never thought I would enjoy and stretched out, thinking about all the stuff that was waiting for me when I returned home.

On Saturday mornings, after the group reassembles upon returning from our run, our team captain holds a clinic about upcoming topics related to training. We go over our fundraising efforts in our fight to cure Lymphoma and Leukemia. We also have a Mission Moment, where a survivor comes to speak to us about their story in fighting blood cancer.

The Mission Moment did me in this week. This man had fought Lymphoma for four years. When he was diagnosed, he was at Stage 4, and given less than two years to live. As he related his journey, and his medically impossible recovery, the tears were flowing.

The whole weekend, I was in a heightened weepy state. I don't really know why, but this man's story, his subsequent recovery and renewed sense of his life's purpose was the catalyst for many a tear shed this weekend.

Today, even bigger news. Our friend's daughter, who has been battling an incredibly rare brain tumor reached another incredible milestone. Her MRI came back clean. This precious three year old has endured brain surgery to successfully remove the tumor, months of chemotherapy, weeks of relentless radiation and her miraculous recovery continues.

What do these two stories have in common? Incredible human warrior spirits and immeasurable faith, in the face of insurmountable circumstances.

It was a welcome change to go back to work today, after the amount of exercise my tear ducts got this weekend. Somehow, working with my students, hearing their chatter, helping them through their obstacles is a really good way to get through whatever ails you. After a long day, I headed home to the cacophony of tennis lessons, cooking dinner, trading children in said tennis lessons, homework, antibiotics, baths and bedtime.

On the menu for dinner tonight? Turkey chili.

Because, sometimes, "chilly" weather, a good, long cry and a bowl of chili makes everything okay.


  1. Sounds like an emotional weekend--for good reason. It always amazes me, the strength of the human spirit.

  2. Here, Here. To chili. And a good cry.
    Or is it Hear, Hear, because I so totally and completely hear you!

    It's no secret I've been an emotional wreck lately. For, um, like months. The ups and downs are relentless. And sometimes I just need to force myself out for those 10 miles.


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