Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Steve

Today I read a couple of blogs that have turned out to be very timely for my life. Eric had a blog about mountain biking and how it was the first step in getting into triathlon. In another blog, Jen talked about how she likes to live her life in the present and not think too far into the future. That's how I'll frame my Wednesday story.

Last summer I was really wanting to get back into triathlons (I had done one before)and was in pretty bad shape. Chris, my lab buddy talked me into doing an early season 5k and it got me excited about getting back into competition. After this, Chris and I decided to get our other lab buddy, Steve, into running as well. The three of us spend a lot of time together in lab talking and wasting time and taking online quizzes and talking about the History channel. Initially Steve was reluctant to start running. He's 38 and married to a wonderful wife with 2 adorable little kids and he teaches part time at the community college at night after work. He just didn't think he had the time. So I made it my personal quest to raz him enough to get him to at least try it. Being extremely competitive he didn't want to do a race until he thought he could do well. So we started going out at lunch to run every once in awhile. He quickly far exceeded my talent and within a month he was hooked. True running junkie.

Our history channed discussions soon turned into training talks and race strategy discussions and talk of gadgetry and shoes. And, um, Steve has gotten really, really good. It was really the support of my lab geek crew Chris and Steve that got me to pull the trigger on triathlon.

Steve has continued to train his butt off and has gotten his 5k time down to 19 minutes or so (down from his first 5k last year which was, I think 25 minutes). It has been inspiring to watch how great he has done. He was on his way to winning his age group in Cleveland's Road Race Series this year.

Until last week

Steve went to the hospital last week with abdominal pain. We were all pretty sure he had appendicitis. He found out this weekend that it's Cancer.

We spent this morning talking about it. The doctors are still not sure of what type of cancer it is, but from what I can make of it his prognosis is very good. They think it's either a carcinoid tumor (very rare endocrine tumor in his small intestine), or a non-Hodgkins lymphoma. But needless to say, Steve is very shaken about this. He's a healthy 38 year-old runner who is in the best shape of his life. The last thing he was expecting was to find out he has cancer.

So I guess what I take from this experience is that as fit as we all think that we are, you never really know what's in store for your health. Every day really is a gift. I, like Jen, try to live my life in the present. I don't know what I want to do with the rest of my life and it doesn't bother me one bit. What matters to me is how I'm living my life right now. And it helps to stand back every once in awhile to appreciate how incredibly fortunate I am that I am so very happy and healthy.

Obligatory training notes:

Pushed it too hard on Sunday and was pretty sore for my heart rate test. The bike test didn't really work b/c the HRM strap I was using wasn't tight enough and kept losing the signal during my 3 mile time trial. The highest reading we got was 180 and I'm sure my heart was north of 190. So we just went with the highest I had recorded it on my bike doing hill repeats in the past. Then on the run I wasn't able to push it above 193 (even thought that was my average for 3 miles of the run on Sunday). So I'm stuck in my same low zones. I'll be off tonight to do a zone 2 run. I am going to change the readout on my garmin so that I can only see heart rate and time. If I see how slow I'm going I'll get frustrated :)

15 comments:

erichollins said...

Yay, I got my Jodi's training fix for the day!

It's pretty freaky how even us athletes think we are living healthy and keeping ourselves in great shape that something like cancer can come around and strike us without warning and there is nothing that we can do about it. I'm one that lives in the future too much and don't live in the now enough and I'm trying to change my view on stuff like this as well.

JenC said...

Good luck to your friend. That has to be scary.

Any chance you can do the heart rate test again some time. I promise not to form a race team the weekend before it again. : )

Lauren said...

My housemate has non-Hodgekins lymphoma (they think). He found out a few weeks ago - it was accidentally found via MRI after a spine fracture. He is 37. He is on the first course of oral chemo.

Stories like Steve's and my roommates remind us to live life fully. From the smallest cup of coffee to how we treat others, to the colors of the leaves to the feeling of cat fur, we need to experience and savor everything. It's too petty to say "Life is short" -- I guess the better thing to say is "Suck the marrow out of life".

Get out. Challenge yourself. See what you encounter when you do.

John said...

Carpe diem, right?

TriSaraTops said...

Ironman has a way of putting EVERTHING into perspective.

Prayers for Steve...

RunBubbaRun said...

I had teamate find out she had re-currence of breast cancer right after completing IMWI.

Best of luck to your friend, stay strong and "livestrong", which means living your life the best you can and "smelling the flowers" along the way.

qcmier said...

My thoughts and prayers to Steve and his family.

Charlie said...

Live every moment Jody.
My prayors go out to steve and his family. May he have the strength and courage to overcome his struggle.
I am confident that his fitness will benifit him greatly.

Wes said...

I remind Dee Dee every so often: If you weren't there to pick up the boyz from school, for whatever reason, would have rather yelled at them in the morning before school, or told them that you luv them. Keep it simple. Keep it sweet. Waste not a moment of your time.

LoneStarCrank said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LoneStarCrank said...

Keeps it all in perspective. Great work on getting up out, getting him active and giving him the bug of an active lifestyle.

Here's to hoping his fitness benefits him and gives him more FIGHT for what's ahead.

E-Speed said...

I'm so sorry for your friend. I hope that everything works out for him and he is cancer free soon.

Papa Louie said...

So sorry to hear about your friend Steve. We hope the doctors are skilled and have the right wisdom so that Steve gets the best treatment.

Eric said...

Steve is lucky to have a good friend, you, to help him through this time of stress and uncertainty. Tell him we are all thinking of him.

Kate said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Steve and my thoughts and prayers are with him. He sounds like he has the strength and will to fight this.

The rest of us should all cherish this reminder of all we take for granted when we're trying to chop the minutes off our 5k time, or the seconds off our 100m repeats.