Walk of Courage

by NotDownOrOut

If you have not been reading the blog of Mike Terrell about living with end stage cancer, then you should (See my blog entry about him https://notdownorout.wordpress.com/2013/05/15/facing-the-end/), but I just wanted to shout out that Mike made a turn of the field at a race for life this past week. He used his walker, had the support of some good friends, and summoned the strength that makes him so fine a man, and he did it. He walked that walk! Congratulations, Mike! To read his posting, see: http://miketerrill.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/crossing-the-finish-line/.

I recently saw a poem about running by a young person on the website Teen Ink. It seems appropriate to the occasion:
By SycamoreTreeLand, Alamar Avenue, CA
The author’s comments:

This is a poem I wrote after my first cross country race of my sophomore year of high school. I was disappointed with my time, so I wrote this poem and it was like magic appeared on my doorstep–I felt so much better. It was then that I realized how hard I had tried during the race, no matter what my time was. I guess I actually did know what I was doing during my race–becoming a stronger person outside and within.

This pain is not for me,
I say.
This pain envelops me in nothingness.
The heat traps me in fumes,
Burning like fire,
Killing like a knife
That cuts into the patches of my lungs.

This pain is ready for me,
But I am not ready for it.
This pain is sprinting.
I am wobbling.
It is living
As I am dying –
Falling, then landing
Into what feels like relapse,
But really isn’t.

This pain is a painkiller,
Yet I am unaware of this fact,
For I am only thinking of
What life is like without this pain.
But this pain
Is the pathway to bravery,
Strength, focus.

This pain is my enemy
when spoken of,
But my friend within,
Living deep in my heart
Where the truth is not always clear.

This pain will lead me to the end.
And will bring me back to the beginning again.
Where the cycle repeats itself.

This pain never disappears,
But sometimes releases its grip on me
For just a moment,
When all the cells of my heart
Are focused,
At last.


The poet is a young woman going by the pseudonym Lizzy Halmne. She has a long way to go in life. Mike has a few more years and miles under his belt. His path may be shorter, but will draw on all he has. Both have hearts like lions. Thank you for writing, Lizzy! Way to go, Mike! May both of you fly on fleet feet wherever you are set and ready to go.