Fast forward another year and all Kay's tests are coming back clean, and she is a stronger and faster runner than before. This week I thought I would share all that I have learned from Kay over the last year watching her fight the fight for her life.
First, I learned that when things get tough, you need to stay strong and push on. No matter how sick Kay got, she did not let it interrupt her life. She rarely missed a Tuesday/Thursday morning run, and she even helped me train for Ironman throughout her treatments. Kay is one tough cookie. On my bike leg of Ironman, the last thirty miles were grueling. I had to push through the pain, through the pull to give up, and through the burn in my legs and back. Kay taught me that the victory is worth the pain.
She also taught me to stay positive even when life is trying to pull you down. She found things to make her happy, was constantly making us laugh, and all this when she was so sick some days she could hardly crawl out of bed. I don't think I have ever met anybody who takes such joy in everyday things like Kay does. So when she would have bad weeks, she would just find something positive to focus on to take her mind off of the negative. This focus on the good helped me mentally push through Ironman. When parts of my body wanted to give out on me, I just reminded myself of how lucky I was to be racing in such a beautiful environment with my family and friends waiting for me at the finish line.
Finally, Kay is one of the kindest and most generous people you will ever meet. She is the kind of person that when you meet her, you feel like you have known her for a lifetime. I feel like I am a good friend, but her kindness makes me strive to be a more thoughtful person. When I caught a nasty virus, she brought a crock pot of soup to my front door to help me feel better. I am lucky to have such an amazing friend, and I hope that she knows how much we all appreciate her friendship.
So when I stand at the starting line tomorrow with Kay at my side, I will thank God for healing her and allowing her to race with me this year. I am so lucky to have a person like Kay in my life. She is such a great model for being strong, for focusing on the positive, and for being a kind and thoughtful friend. I hope you all have at least one Kay in your life to remind you of how precious life is.