What Terry Fox Knew

I ran by the Terry Fox Plaza in front of BC Place last Sunday.

Terry Fox Plaza

Terry Fox Plaza

The memorial for the Canadian hero consists of four bronze sculptures representing the iconic image of Terry, curly hair and simple shoes, running with a thin prosthetic leg towards you, approaching you along a road.

Sunday was the 35th anniversary of his starting the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run from Newfoundland to Vancouver he planned to raise awareness about cancer. An earlier diagnosis of cancer in Terry resulted in the amputation of his right leg.

The experience also resulted in his personal commitment to instill hope in others living with cancer by doing something incredible, such as running across Canada. At the age of 21, he ran 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles) before the cancer returned, forcing him to end the Marathon of Hope after five months. The story of Terry continues to inspire people today, and the foundation set up in his honor has raised over $650 million dollars for cancer research and generates an unlimited amount of global awareness about cancer.

“I’m not a dreamer, and I’m not saying this will initiate any kind of definitive answer or cure to cancer, but I believe in miracles. I have to.” Terry Fox

I ran by the memorial for appreciation and inspiration.  Terry started his Marathon in 1980 without the aid of an ipod or GU — while recovering from cancer and running with a basic prosthetic leg. He ran without the benefit of the information we easily have now about proper gear, hydration, and training for an endurance run. I wonder if any one then knew how such an effort would impact his body.

I wonder if not knowing all of that made it easier for Terry to go forward with the run.

In my current world of launching a freelance writing service while trying to stay healthy, it’s easy to either be complacent with the advantages of this moment or ridiculously freaked out about the risks. It’s easy to obsess about my running plan or be despondent when my Garmin drops its reception on 12th Avenue.

It’s easy to read one more blog about freelance writers writing as freelancers for freelance writers wanting to be freelance writers. It’s easy to find a podcast proclaiming the latest myths, truths, to-dos, things to avoid, secrets, common sense, thought leaders, and accidental entrepreneurs about launching a small business.

It’s easy to not move forward with too much information.

I then run past Terry Fox’s memorial facing towards his final destination of Stanley Park, and immediately feel that my moments without gratitude ignore opportunities, my moments with hope create more opportunities, and my moments of not knowing bring me the most satisfaction.

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