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Never Give Up

By Leesa Gabel

Before May 28, 2008 I often set goals, but never reached them. I always found a way to give up.

I don’t really know when or what changed my mindset, but I know it’s changed. I do my very best to see things to the finish. OK, my idea to knit and/or crochet a scarf didn’t really take off, but I do still plan to finish one at some point before I die. I’ve stuck with Boot Camp since it started on Oct. 12, 2009 — that just boggles my mind!! I managed to make it over half way at the Disney half marathon — had there not of been a time constraint I’m confident I would have finished. Although I’m scared and nervous, I’m looking forward to finishing my first 100+ bike ride with Craig and TNT this June. The fact that I’d even consider doing something like that is so unlike me. I was never an athletic person and to be trying to become one at 38….well….that’s just crazy talk!! But I am trying and I like trying!

I know it was probably the cancer that changed me. So in a way, I’m thankful for the diagnosis. I forced me to make changes. I’m quite sure that is the only positive of my cancer. Aside from that, cancer can kiss my arse because I’m not going to let it stop me from reaching the goals I now have!!

Today in Boot Camp the last thing we did in class was to sprint up to the pull-up bar, jump up, ¬†grab it and hang there. I sprinted, jumped up, grabbed it and slipped right off the bar. It wasn’t a pretty sight. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself. Now the old me would skip out on doing that activity if it comes back up in class again, but the new me is looking forward to trying again. Grabbing that bar and hanging on is my new goal — and I will reach it. Because I’ll never give up!!!




By Leesa Gabel

8.29 miles out of 13.1 miles.

The temps were in the 30s and it was sleeting and windy at the start of the race. I wore three layers, two hats and gloves. I was cold and nervous, but I was ready. Fireworks at the start and just a mass of people. Craig and I tried to stay to the side as best we could, slowly increasing our pace. At mile 1.5 I had officially gone farther than last year’s race. Sad, but true.

I actually felt good out there on the course. No shin pain, no calves cramping…I was amazed. I’d jog short spurts and walk fast the rest of the time. I do believe I even managed to pass a few people here and there!! Craig was a great support and he really helped push me along.

Entering the Magic Kingdom was so much better than I thought. It was magical and it felt like such an accomplishment. I ran up Main Street and turned right toward Tomorrowland. Got a picture taken with Buzz (for my son). Then near the teacups I kissed Craig and wished him well because he needed to run in order to make time so that he could continue on with the full marathon the next day.

I jogged/walked around the little kid’s area and rides and made my way to Cinderella’s castle. Running thru was so different than walking thru. There were lots of photogrphers so I hope one of them captured my moment because I didn’t really stop. I had seen ‘the time/pace keepers’ and knew that I was off the 16 minute pace. At mile 6 I was 2:30 behind. I tried to kick it up a notch, but knew in the back of my mind that I couldn’t sustain the pace for the remainder 7 miles.

As I neared mile 8, the pace keepers let me know that I was now 4 minutes behind. There was no way I could make up that time. but I kept going until a bus blocked my path and I had to get on it.

I had made it through the Magic Kingdom and over half the distance, I was – and still am – satifisied with my performance.

Since I can’t really talk while doing a race, I just kept thinking about all the people I know who are battling cancer right now and aren’t able to do what I was doing. I run (trust me, I use that tem loosely) for them….in their honor.

I made it over half way in 2010….I’m determined to make it all the way in 2011. I want the Disney 1/2 to be my first official 13.1 finish!!!