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What’s your mantra?

There was a dark time, back in May, when everything I knew, built, or dreamed of was taken out from under me. I had a meeting with my Oncologist that told me I had cancer. Me! At age 51! Me?

I’m too healthy! I feel too good to have cancer? How could this be?

I didn’t know what it meant at the time but when the doctor tells you you have the C-word it stops you in your tracks.

What would I do? What does it mean? What will happen to my family and those two precious little girls God entrusted to us?

It was probably the darkest two weeks of my life. I had some tests done to find out the extent of the cancer growth.

The day the doctor read me the results of those tests had to be in my Top 5 best days of all-time! I walked out a saved man, to some extent, with the promise of living a good long time.

And as I climbed in my car and turned it on and let the good news marinate in my head a little bit an unexpected song came on the radio that brought me to knees, “Its Not My Time”.

The song was an old familiar one. The lyrics brought sobbing and praising God.


Looking back at the beginning of this
And how life was
Just you and me and loving all of our friends
Living life like an ocean
Now the current’s only pulling me down
It’s getting harder to breathe
It won’t be too long and I’ll be going under
Can you save me from this

‘Cause it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go

I look ahead to all the plans that we made
And the dreams that we had
I’m in a world that tries to take ‘em away
Oh but I’m taking ‘em back
Cause all this time I’ve just been too blind to understand
What should matter to me
My friend this life we live
It’s not what we have
It’s what we believe in

And it’s not my time I’m not going
There’s a fear in me
And it’s not showing
This could be the end of me
And everything I know

But it’s not my time
I’m not going
There’s a will in me
And now I know that
This could be the end of me
And everything I know
Ooo but I won’t go
I won’t go

There might be more than you believe
There might be more than you and me
There might be more than you can see

And I lived and breathed that song all summer long, right up to and through an invasive outpatient cancer treatment last September.

The results of the cancer procedure? Well they are about as good as anyone could ask for!  Thank YOU for all your prayers!

So last month a few people that are closest to me urged and encouraged me to start running again. I had fallen off the bus pretty good for the last 2+ years.

Not getting enough reaction from me they dared me to do a 1/2 marathon in February!

What? 13.1 miles…. in the cold! Are you crazy? I am not in any kind of shape to do that! And so one of them led by example and did one for me, showing it can be done.

OK why not? It worked! After all…I do have 4 long weeks to prepare and get up to 13+ miles. Geez!

Well that 1/2 marathon is this coming Saturday at 8:30am (pray for sun and some warm weather!)

hangar_lighthouse_withmedalsmallYou know what? I feel ready to do some damage to it!

I have been running, training, dropping a few pounds and I have my good running form back. And, afraid it will take me all day to run 13 miles, I have put in some time that says I won’t do too bad.

This afternoon I ran a good pace on a treadmill for over 70 minutes, burned nearly 900 calories and ran with that good form the entire run, not dropping to a tired shuffling of feet.

Here are some stats after the first 59 minutes:


So all things being normal I may be able to run this half marathon in under 2 hours. I would be soo happy with that! I may not crack the code and run it in 105 minutes like I did the race in several years ago. But that’s OK. That’s Not My Time…

Just the idea of running a race again, let alone one of great distance, was a distant memory back in May. Especially since I haven’t run a race this long since 2010.

So thanks everyone for your prayers and encouragement along this mind-numbing period. A very special thanks to my closest of close friends that duped me and encouraged me into this challenge. You know who you are! Some very Special Mates (SSM)! Thanks for kicking my butt and daring me to put this C-thing in the rearview mirror.

The song Its Not My Time will continue to be one of my mantras as I go through life. It goes right beside my other one, Hold On Tight. Two songs, two phrases I will never forget and hope to hold on to for a very, very long time.

These two mantras mirror the final words of the famous North Carolina State basketball coach, Jimmy Valvano as he bid farewell at ESPN’s ESPY awards in 1993 after it was found he could not beat his form of cancer. Jimmy started his V Cancer Foundation with the words and the drive and now trademark phrase, “Don’t give up . . . Don’t ever give up.”®

Never give up my friends!

If you have the time take a look at this by Jimmy V.

It can be very motivating!

So do you have a mantra you try to live by?

Care to share it?

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