Many runners have role models. Whether it is the Olympic champion who inspired them to reach for greatness, or a coach who challenged them to reach their potential, there is someone who helped them achieve. My role model is a bowler.
I frequently think back to my first marathon. Tired and dehydrated, I wanted to quit. Still, I would not. I knew that whatever it would take, I would reach the finish line. I found myself counting steps. I told myself to just keep on going and to make it to the next mile marker. From whom did I learn the idea of always taking the next step, no matter how exhausted? From a woman who has never taken part in anything more athletic than bowling; from my mom.
A weaker person would have given up a long time ago. Getting the same disease that ravaged her mother’s body and then killed her, wasn’t enough to stop her. When it came back a second time, she fought it with everything she had. She doesn’t just fight it. She refuses to slow down. She keeps working as a teacher, a profession she loves. She continues to travel at a rate that would tire a Secretary of State. She dotes on her grandchildren, both our kids who live nearby, as well as my brother’s children who live in Israel. She receives incredible support from friends because she is always a friend. She is never too busy to help another person.
Now she is called upon to fight once more. The cancer has spread. I know she is tired. I know that she is beat up. I know that she will fight it with everything she has. It is her way. Who can ask for a better role model?