Posted by: Jack Savage | April 9, 2012


One of the challenges of long-distance races like a marathon is making sure that you allow adequate time for recovery during training. Tapering–the two-to-three week period leading up to the race–is about letting the muscles recover from months of training. And while it’s easy to understand that concept, it can be difficult to accept the idea that after motivating yourself to build your endurance and speed with ever-more-challenging workouts week after week, the best thing to do now is back off. Combined with the anticipation of challenging yourself in the marathon itself, you can get pretty antsy during this last week.

But imagine what it’s like for a terminal cancer patient in hospice care. They often have battled fiercely for months or years against the cancer. They’ve put themselves through tremendous physical and psychological challenges attempting to survive. And they have arrived at a point at which they are being told that nothing more can be done. They should put their affairs in order and nmake the most of the time they have left. They are coached to do the most unnatural thing in the world–accept death.

I don’t know what that is like. We watched Michael continue to battle, even as he began to show acceptance in little ways. The physical toll was excrutiating. It was a rollercoaster for him. Perhaps that’s the way it is for everyone.

It makes a silly little marathon seem so easy.


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