A father wearing pink leggings and matching tutu lifts his daughter with a similar outfit to his shoulders.
Mother’s Day morning and there’s a sea of pink invading the school sports field. Socks, shirts, shorts, caps in shades of pink. Pink hair spray and bright pink lipstick. A pink bra worn over the outside of a shirt.
Women, men and children gather in support of those who have been through the experience of cancer, breast cancer in particular. To commemorate and celebrate those who have come through to the other side, and those who have not.
Among the stalls of sponsors and vendors, pink plastic capes are available for those who feel they require that extra bit of pink to complete their attire for the event. One such customer is a 12-year-old boy. Handing over his $2 he happily wraps the cape around his shoulders, and it hangs down to his ankles. I ask him if running with this somewhat unwieldy accessory might prove difficult or hamper his progress. After a moment’s contemplation, his response is simple and and direct:
‘Maybe a little, but how hard would it be if you were having to go through breast cancer?’
He is my son and knows a couple of women who have been down that road. My daughter runs faster and further than she is usually comfortable with, taking inspiration from the atmosphere of the day and contemplating those who have to endure much worse.
What is the point in running?
Why do I get up when it’s dark and cold and hit the pavement?
Because I can.
I run because I have two legs and two feet that can carry me forward.
I run for those who have endured disease or injury and face obstacles to get up and out there.
I run because of the guy with an awkward gait I see out walking, pushing past his limitation and stilted movements, greeting all passers with a smile and ‘Morning.
I run because of my friend with rheumatoid arthritis who can barely walk from the car to the house without a reasonable amount of discomfort.
I run for my kids, who put their best effort into everything they do and I want to do the same.
For everyone experiencing a physical or mental condition that restricts their activity, I run because I can.