Breast Cancer Awareness Month can mean a lot of different things for everyone.
For some, it’s about uniting with family and friends at charity events and races to show support for a common cause. For others, it’s a personal fight, for a mom, aunt, grandmother or friend who’s been affected by the disease.
Over the last few years, I’ve made a commitment to run at least one breast cancer charity race during the month of October in memory of my aunt who lost her battle to breast cancer in 2004, and, most recently, in support of a very close friend whose mother was just diagnosed with the disease. It’s the one race of the year where it’s okay not to be perfect, and where a finish time and pace are the furthest things from my mind.
From nearly every Susan G. Komen race in the southern California area to a 10K in Chicago where my aunt had lived, each one has coincidentally been my favorite race year-after-year. There’s something about being in a sea of head-to-toe pink clad participants with their moms, girlfriends, aunts, grandmothers and even significant others that’s truly uplifting. While you’ll hardly know any of their names and will likely never see them again, you know you’re all there with a common purpose.
And while there are many things on a daily basis that prompt me to be thankful for my health, the breast cancer races are also a sheer reminder for me to be grateful for the fact that I can lace up my running shoes and take part in something bigger than myself. It’s so easy to get caught up with training and busy schedules that we sometimes overlook our own well-being and ability to get up in the morning for a run, as opposed to someone who can’t.
It’s no doubt this month is notorious for the hundreds of e-mail and social media invitations we get to breast cancer awareness month events and promotions. It takes a lot of energy to sift through these, let alone get it on the calendar and actually participate. But perhaps you can make this October different from previous years, and take two seconds to support somebody who’s been touched by the disease that affects millions of men and women each year.
Tell us, who do you wear pink for?