Sandstorms can seem as though they’ve come out of nowhere, especially in the darkness, and this one hit like a freight train. Somehow it reminded me of my cancer diagnosis.
Getting back to the tent, and anchoring it down, is an adventure story for another day. But once I was inside, with a t-shirt turned sand mask over my face, I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear. I mean... a sandstorm, really!? The week long race had thrown virtually every weather condition and terrain possible for the desert—and some that weren’t—at us. And in many respects it had been a microcosm of my entire cancer experience. There were moments that pushed me to my limit, and then pushed me beyond. Yet, as tough as it was, there was never a moment when I thought I couldn’t make it; or that I should quit. I did the only thing I could; kept moving forward one step at a time.
I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on cancer survival, or how to run through a desert. It has been as much about good luck and fortune as it has about persistence and determination for me. I’ve fumbled and stumbled through both experiences clinging to the belief that I’m strong enough to face every challenge head on.
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” ~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha