Oct 25, 2012 by Andi Curenton
On October 14th 2012 I did the Unthinkable!!! I Completed my first official Half Marathon! It was by far the hardest and most amazing thing I have ever done in my life! It is something that I will treasure always. I had my sister by my side and my girls who are my new sisterhood. I met some amazing people and had such a great time. I only had 1 mile when I didn't have a smile on my face. My feet carried me well and my spirit was high.
I NEVER EVER had a desire to do anything like this before and now I can't image not doing it again. Yes people you read that right! I think I may have a little marathoner in my blood now lol.
I did this for so many reasons, to challenge myself to do something that scares me, to be part of something bigger than myself, to belong somewhere (with being sick as a youngster school was hard on me and I ended up homeschooling, so being an Alumni isn't something I am part of until now) and of course I did this to help heal something deep in my soul. I never realized how much not dealing with being sick damaged me. I learned to be a quitter, I was sad, I felt like I would never be ok again. It's easier to be silly and joke about things then be serious about them. But on this journey I learned a lot about me. I learned about other Honoree's and heard so much of my story in theirs, and little by little I became unbroken. I learned to talk about my illness even though I never learned much about it. My journey was more about the aftermath. And that was more damaging then the disease itself.
For the first time in a very long time I belong, I had people pulling for me when I knew I didn't have one more ounce of strength left but with their love and strength I was able to go on. I have a new extended family and I did something incredable with them! And you know what else happened...I learned to love Me again! I became proud of myself! Something the queen of self bashing never ever thought would be possible. I did 13.1 miles and I did it well! I didn't do it for a personal record or personal best, I did it for the experience and I didn't want to miss anything. I did it my way! I figured it was going to be my personal best and a personal record no matter what because it's my first, so that was a no brainer, but I was afraid I would get wrapped up in times that I would miss the end of my journey. So my goal was to have an amazing time and Rock it! I took tons of pictures and I met new people and chatted with them. I cried with my girls, and I laughed at myself. I cheered on my teammates, and I learned what the Bite Me Zone is LOL and others around me learned not to be around me at that point lol...or to laugh at the things coming out of my mouth! I learned when my brain said not one more step my coaches were in the right spot and a big hug and a few simple I'm so proud of you's give you a total energy refill and those last 2 miles are closer than you think.
I learned without the generosity of everyone that made a donation, I wouldn't have been able to complete this amazing journey, and I wouldn't be writing this. So as this journey closes and this Chapter ends, I've learned that I've got more in me! And there will be New chapters and that this book has just begun!
Thank you all for reading all of my ramblings and updates, and for the support and love I've recieved. It really did keep me going strong!!!
From the top of my Heart to the Bottom of my "sole" I love and Thank you!!
Nearing the end of this wonderful journey
Oct 03, 2012 by Andi Curenton
Wow I can't believe in a little over a week I will be writing the final chapter of this journey. It brings tears to me eye's just thinking about it. It has been quite the journey indeed and I am no where close to being the same person I was when I started.
I have learned so much about myself in the last 5 months. I've learned that it's ok to be weak, because there's only one way to go from there! I've learned you can have good and bad and sometimes even AWFUL runs but it doesn't matter! Because I learned something from each run. I remember when 2 miles almost killed me, 3 miles questioned why I signed up for 13.2 and how would I ever be able to do it when I couldn't manage 3 miles!!! I NEVER gave up, I NEVER quit!!! And this was new for me. Anytime things got hard before I'd just move on to the next thing. But I stuck with it. I cried, cussed and Cheered!! I remember the first time I hit 5 miles... I jumped and yelled so loud in the middle of my run and then all of my girls celebrated my victory. I remember the first time I ran just over 6 miles and thinking OMG I just did almost half of my race!!! That feeling was amazing. And then thinking 3 miles almost broke me and I just pulled 6! I've had a lot of tears on this journey and honestly I've had my doubts. How am I going to run 13 when I haven't been able to complete 10 yet? Why can't I have good run's??? And then the well if we just go a little farther that'll give us 1 more mile, what the heck let's go for it! And that's the run that I ran my first unofficial half!!! We did 13.25 miles last Saturday because of that just a little farther mindset! Do I even really like running... I like it, but I can't say I love it LOL. I LOVE the feeling I get of hitting my next accomplishment, I love feeling just a little stronger. I LOVE that...but the actual love of running? Hmmm I'm still on the fence. I've been a thrill ride to be around.
I have learned so much not just about running but about me. I learned how to push through it. I learned that 3 miles didn't kill me...it just felt that way in the beginning. I learned that I can get excited about "ONLY 5 or 6 miles this weekend" but most importantly I've learned to be proud of myself! I am queen of self bashing and degration. I can find the fault in ANYTHING that I do. And I've learned it doesn't matter. I have done the most amazing things, I've conquered my fear of pushing myself, of running of bridges and feeling like I don't count! I've NEVER allowed myself to be called a survivor. I've alway's felt like because I was lucky and my "battle" with cancer was easy that I wasn't worthy of being called one. I felt like I would take something away from people who had to Survive. And I felt guilty that I was a "lucky one". I never learned much about my disease because I didn't want to. Like some how if I didn't know anything about it, it never happened. I met someone this season that is a survivor in every sense of the word. And she has done more for me than she will ever realize. We talked one day about my story and of course there's not much of one but as I was telling her some of it she would say things to me and would be telling ME MY story. She's never met me and she knew what I had gone through...Step by Step...and she was telling me what I had gone through. And for the first time in my life I connected to someone who got it! I didn't have to say anything and she understood! And right there I could feel the healing start. I've seen her a few times since then and I have been drawn to her and one night she was telling her story, and so many pieces of it fit mine. I understood her! I knew those fears!
I am so grateful that I decided to take this journey for so many reasons. And the tears fall again, there are so many reasons but mostly of joy. I am the Happiest and by far the Healthiest I have been in 25 years. And it's because of my journey.
On October 14, 2012...My son Kyles 8th birthday I will run my second 13.1 miles of my life...and this time it will be Officially my 1st Half Marathon. And I couldn't have done it by myself. I wanted to be part of something greater than myself, and as this chapter of my journey closes...I can say I have found it!!!
Thank you to everyone that has made it possible. Your donations, love and support have carried me. You have listened to me blab about my progress, stuck by me when I was waivering and cheered me through it. And for that I can not thank you enough!
Sep 23, 2012 by Andi Curenton
This picture is so beautiful for so many reasons to me. I have always loved San Francisco and from the time I learned how to drive there I've spent many many impulse visits. I even decided to go to art school here. When Rome and I started dating one of the places we went a lot was to the city, and he loves the city as much as I do so that made me a happy happy girl! And now that were a family and after years of dragging the boy's to the city for adventure trips it's the place they ask to come back to most. I have so many great memories of this city by the bay, and we NEVER come visit our favorite place with out paying a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge. It is honestly the most amazing bridge in the world and it's ours. No picture can ever do it the much love and admiration it truly deserves.
I have a new memory of this Beautiful Bridge and these amazing women helped me make it. I have a fear of Bridges...it's actually a bit more than a fear...I AM TERRIFIED of them....ALL!!! Big, Small, Short, Tall, Beautiful or Ugly...if it's a bridge over water I'm a wreck. I almost didn't make this training due to my fear. I only decided just a few day's before this training that I was going to make it. I was going to cross the bridge with my teammates/strength/sisters because they believed I could! Many tears went into making this decision, and a few tears during the run. But I DID IT!!!! I crossed my Beautiful, Majestic beloved Golden Gate bridge on foot not once, but twice!!!! And I cried each time I stepped off the bridge. They were tears of accomplishment, relief, terror but mostly pride. I don't honestly know when I have ever felt as proud of myself as I did that morning. I was truly Relentless! And with each tearful release I was met with tears, and cheers, hugs, love and support from some of the most important people in my life. I have to say this was my BEST run yet. I ran 9 miles and I conqured my fear twice!!! And the best part was I was met in the parking lot by my Guy's who love the City as much as I do! I got hugs and "mommy I'm so proud of you" and "did you close your eyes?" lol.
We have an honored teammate who met every day of his treatment with "This is the Best day ever" and I have to agree with him! I can say that This was indeed the Best day ever!
Sep 14, 2012 by Andi Curenton
Do you know what's AMAZING about this picture? Well besides the fact that is about 6:45 am on a Saturday in Sausalito getting ready to run across the Golden Gate bridge....Everyone in this picture is a HERO!!! Everyone in the picture is trying to help cure Blood Cancers one step at a time. Not one person's story is the same but our goal is...to stomp out blood cancers, and what's really cool is with the devolopment of medications and treatments to cure blood cancers they are finding medications that are fighting a vast range of other cancers too! And it's groups like us in this picture that are helping to make this possible! Each person in this group is raising $1440 to almost $10,000....people have met their goals and just keep raising money to help save lives...how AMAZING is that? September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month...show your support and be a HERO TOO!!!
I faced one of my fears
Sep 04, 2012 by Andi Curenton
And this Group right here helped me. I have a HUGE phobia of bridges and we had to run over the "Little Blue" bridge that you cross to get on to Mare Island...well about half way across the bridge my head started getting a little swimmy and my heart was pounding and I felt like I was going to barf....Nope not because I running too hard...because I was RUNNING ON THE BRIDGE!!! So I did a lot of self talk and started shaking my arms and hands to keep my mind focused on something else and keep the blood moving in my body and then I was off the bridge!!! YAY For me...except I had to cross it again shortly after we made our loop. The second time I was better, I knew what to expect and I had tunnel vision... I focused at a spot on the other side of the bridge and kept watching it get closer and closer... Plus I stayed with my girls this time and was talking and focusing on something other than the fact I was running over water lol. I seriously couldn't do it with out my teammates. I wouldn't have even attempted it. I would have just kept running back to our starting point. I'm so proud of how much stronger both Physically and emotionally I get with each run! I hope that my strength reaches a person dealing with blood cancer and they know how much I love them and helps them to push through the hard times.