Today at FXB - Columbus, we had a two-hour kick-a-thon for cancer awareness and to raise money for one of our instructors who has brain cancer. I’ve had a few Saturdays where I’ve done 45 minutes of strength training followed by 75 minutes of kickboxing, but I had never stayed for a full two-hour kick-a-thon before.
I figured if there was a kick-a-thon I was going to endure the length of, it needed to be this one. On this day three years ago I was at a funeral saying goodbye to my father-in-law, who fought a very long battle with cancer. This was the day to kick for him, and Amber, and so many others in my life who have had to fight against this ugly beast.
I showed up at 6 a.m. for my band class. Many of us were decked out in our “Team Amber” shirts, and different colored ribbons were taped to the mirrors to represent loved ones who have battled cancer. I had intended to go light to save my energy, knowing that I wanted to make the full two hours that was still to come, but my body had different plans. My hand automatically reached for those blue and purple bands.
After a quick break at the end of class, it was time to get the wraps and gloves on! I was determined to make the full two hours, even though my arms were feeling weak from the bands class. In the beginning, whenever I wondered whether or not I’d make the full time I’d look over at Amber. I’d remind myself that she recently underwent brain surgery, yet there she was kicking and punching. And she looked strong and beautiful and just overall amazing.
Later, as my energy and the number of kickboxers started to drop, I’d look up at the mirror full of ribbons. I reminded myself that I had several family members up there—loved ones who have lost the battle, several who have survived the fight, and some who are still fighting. I know that each and every one of them must have gone through moments when they felt they couldn’t go another step, or fight another day. And yet they did. Certainly I could throw a few more punches and kicks.
And so I did.
You are all still on my mind. Those who are gone, I miss you deeply. Those who are still here—I deeply admire your strength and courage.