Friends of 32-Miles: Melanie Markus

I met Melanie at a local young adult cancer survivor group weeks after my bilateral mastectomy. She is also a mother and we instantly because friends. When 32-MILES RUN CLUB signed up for the group race I knew I wanted her on our team! I was so proud of her when she volunteered to go first and start our run. Seeing her accomplish her goals and continued to push herself has been inspiring to watch. Thank you Melanie for sharing your story.

I didn’t think I would be here. I’m not talking about my cancer diagnosis and consequent journey to remission. I’m talking about here, at the starting line for a 5k trail run. Before cancer, I was that person who would casually go to the gym but not maintain any consistency. I have friends that run, and I always thought they were crazy. I will not be running. Do you know how hot it gets in Alabama??

It’s strange what a life changing trauma can do to a person and it’s unfortunate that it takes something like cancer to kick you into gear and set some personal goals for yourself.

Shannon and I have been friends for a few years now. We were both at the halfway point in our treatment paths and hit it off because we were both moms to little kids. When she reached out to me a few months ago to join a relay team for a 5k trail run, I was hesitant, but I knew I needed to do something to push me forward and switch up my routine. 

I won’t lie, I was slow to start and I’m still slow. I typically run a mile every couple of days and I even join my friends once a week on pub runs. Nothing better than a cold drink at the end of 3 miles to motivate you!! The speed doesn’t bother me because it’s not what matters to me right now.

What’s important is the fact that I’m getting out and I’m moving. Running has become a new outlet to me that supports many aspects of my life.

Family, work, and life in general is hard to balance but we make it work by getting out as a family on a hike every weekend, chasing my son down the greenway on his bike, or just getting out real quick on my lunch break for some fresh air.

Never say never and don’t wait for something life altering to make a change in your life.

The most important thing is to have a support system. That’s what I’ve found in 32-Miles Run Club. A lot of us don’t know each other but we all have a connection through cancer and choose to show the world that it doesn’t define us, and we are capable of anything.

So I crossed that starting line, and about 45 minutes later reached the finish line and passed the baton to my team mate knowing that I had accomplished something for myself and wouldn’t stop there.

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