This weekend I am participating in my second triathlon. Racing is fairly new to me-I have been running, biking and practicing yoga for many years, but racing has added a new dimension to my workouts. It has taught me to challenge myself and push beyond where I thought I could go. Sort of like life.
My goal this year is the same as last- finishing. I have figured out that in the end, winning really isn’t about being the first one to cross that finish line. Anyone who crosses a finish line is always a winner. Winning could be finishing the race, or setting a personal best time, or maybe it’s beating your friend or spouse, or having the courage to begin the race in the first place.
I have a larger reason for racing. My first triathlon was dedicated to a 5 year old boy who was diagnosed with cancer while in preschool with my youngest son. While I was swimming, cycling and running I never forgot for a minute that Matty was fighting for his little life. Every step I took in that race was done with that little boy in my heart. This year I am participating in the triathlon in memory of Matty, who lost his battle with neuroblastoma a year ago.
So how does all of this relate to a green lifestyle? The larger meaning of being green
With race day just around the corner, I have spent some time thinking about what being in this race really means to me. I saw first hand how Matty and his family were surrounded by endless love and support from family, friends and a community filled with people that knew them intimately and some that didn’t know them at all. This is the true meaning of being green.
The small changes we make to green-up our lifestyle don’t seem like much, but many small changes made by many people add up to a large positive effect on the world. “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” Chief Seattle, 1855
Being green has a larger meaning:being green is people who may, or may not know each other, working together to provide support and love to a family in need. Being green is about caring for one another and showing unconditional love to all. It boils down to helping each other and acting selflessly.
Although Matty is no longer with us, his memory lives on in the hearts of so many. This year I will again be thinking of Matty every step of the way.
My reasons for racing:
- I am racing for Matty’s family, who has shown me the true meaning of strength and unconditional love
- I am racing for the unbelievable number of friends and family that were there for them throughout
- I am racing for a community that is strong and interconnected
- I am racing for all of the “greenness” that already exists in each of us
- I am racing for all the “greenness” that we have yet to discover
- I am racing for Matty
- I am racing for you
- I am racing for me
September is childhood cancer awareness month. After Matty’s passing his family started Friends For Matty Foundation, Inc., which provides financial support to families with children who are battling cancer. Please consider supporting this important organization.