Hidey-ho neighborinos. My name is Chris Mattison and I am a second degree black belt, karate instructor (cheap plug: , 7-8PM) and overall fun loving guy.
More importantly than that, I am Committed to a Cure. Let me explain...
Friday May 13 (oh, the irony) a good friend of mine, Shawn Hammond, posted on my Facebook Wall, asking me to participate in an event called Team In Training, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's leading endurance charity training program; two minutes later another friend, Lauren Smith, responded with "...that's a great idea!"
Lauren is also participating in TNT; I think there was some collusion to get me to participate…
While I thoroughly enjoy working out and exercising, in addition to karate, I generally hate to run. Not only do I hate to run, but we’re talking about a half-marathon! 13.1 miles…that’s approximately 13 miles farther than I’d prefer to run.
I did give the request some thought…I couldn’t come up with a single good reason to not run the event. Shawn is a two-time Hodgkins lymphoma survivor…in a later post, I’ll catch you all up on how Shawn and I became friends, but without the good work of LLS, we never would have had the opportunity.
Lauren is awesome; she will be running the full 26.2 marathon. As daunting an undertaking that is (well…at least I think so), her reasoning is even more awesome. Lauren’s best friend Sarah Byrd was supposed to run the half marathon with Lauren, to celebrate Sarah being cancer free. Just before the fall season was to kick off, Sarah relapsed and is currently battling Stage 4 lymphoma. So, while Sarah is fighting this horrible disease, Lauren took on Sarah’s half in support of her friend.
…how do you say “No” to that!?!? So, I was in. I ran my first group training session (GTS) on May 21; it was 3 miles of torture. Every week since, I run 9 miles a week: 2 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday plus 3 miles on Saturday.
This experience has been very emotional and empowering to me; every GTS I’ve attended, I get yet another reason to run. At my first GTS, I met Shawn’s friend Becca; Becca is running the half-marathon to commemorate 5 years cancer free. Last night, I met Mary Lou, the fall seasons Honored Hero; her daughter Jacqui is one of my teammates. Another runner on the Atlanta Team shared with us the story of her father, who at the time was undergoing treatment; shortly before she shared her story, we signed a birthday card for him. I peel myself out of bed before 5am 3 times a week; each one of these people, in addition to Shawn and Sarah, are my inspiration.
Everyone has a different motivation; some run in honor of a survivor…some in memory of; some run to say “I win cancer, not you, ME!”; we all run because we want to do something to rid the world of this despicable disease. On November 5, we will don our purple jersey’s and rock out the inaugural Rock N Roll Savannah. I hope that you’ll continue to watch this space and track our progress; I’ll let you all know about some of the cool fundraisers we have around town and how the training is going. I hope to keep you up-to-date on Sarah’s progress as well. Feel free to leave comments of encouragement for the team; we’d love the extra motivation. I will make sure Sarah receives all well wishes left for her as well (and I certainly encourage that you let Sarah know that Norcross is in her corner!).
Also, I would be remiss if I left off my two goals for the RNR Savannah and the fall season of TNT: the first is to raise as much money as I can for LLS and support their goal of finding a cure. The second is to not stop. LLS can’t stop their efforts and cancer patients can’t stop their fight, the least I can do is move 13.1 miles from Point A to Point B nonstop. I can handle the second goal, but I need as much help as possible for the first. Please visit the link below to contribute to C2C and visit our individual pages.
I, Shawn Hammond, Lauren Smith, Cody Rogers, Jacqui Lister, Rob Bowman & Katrina Kiselinchiv run because we are Committed to a Cure!
Thanks for reading!
--next posting: How Shawn and I became friends and turning the Iron Horse purple!