Before taking on the ascent of Sand Mountain, Still Easier Than Chemo teammate Brian Lamprecht wrote:
While no small feat, climbing this mountain will be nothing compared to the mountains we will each personally face in our lifetimes battling cancer or watching those we love fight this horrible disease. Today’s climb will certainly be #StillEasierThanChemo.
Head to run4massey.org to support those fighting to conquer their own mountains.
I really didn’t know much about the Sandman Extreme Half Marathon except for a few blurbs I had read online. The race is advertised as a January half marathon in the mountains of western Virginia with a climb of 1,000 feet in elevation. Based on that description it certainly sounded challenging to be sure. It wasn’t until I was actually a mile into the race, looking up from the base of the mountain at the very long steep climb ahead that I truly began to understand and appreciate what that 1,000 foot elevation change really meant. The mountain reminded me with each and every difficult step upward that before today what was just a number in my head was a very real and arduous number that I didn’t really understand until it was actually in front of me.
The same is really true for cancer as well. It is so difficult to comprehend all of the statistics that are out there. For example, the number of people who will die from cancer in 2015 is expected to be half the population of the Greater Richmond Area (589,430). Or put this way: The number of people who will be diagnosed with cancer in 2015 is expected to approach the population of the entire state of Idaho (1.6 million). Like the effort of a 1,000 foot climb I really don’t have a sense of what the population of Idaho looks like either. I could go on, of course, but the point is really this: Don’t let the numbers be just numbers, because one day they won’t be.