Tuesday, September 8, 2015

(feels like a) Monday Motivation: Terry Fox

I have a slight -- but vivid -- memory of my childhood of Terry Fox's loping gait. His hop-hop-step, a result of running with a prosthetic leg long before anyone had designed one for running, is engrained on my mind, almost like a never-ending animated gif.

And I don't know why.

My parents weren't runners, and I certainly wasn't an active kid apart from playing soccer. No one in our house was swept up in the "running boom". But he's there, with his ringer tee and his curly hair bouncing. I remember hearing the news that he had had to stop his Marathon of Hope because the cancer had spread to his lungs. News from the small, black-and-white television in the kitchen, playing in the background, maybe.

And now that I'm really thinking about it, "That's Incredible" (or was it "Real People"?) comes to mind...

A quick Google search points me to imdb, which confirms that, yes, in 1980 Sarah Purcell from "Real People" interviewed Terry Fox while he was running his Marathon of Hope, running alongside him for the interview. And if I could have found a video to embed, you know I would have. So that's where the enduring memory comes from, I assume.

Of course, it's not like I have spent the last 35 years thinking about Terry Fox.

But since I started running, I think about Terry Fox a lot. Here's something I have never told anyone: I run with a Terry Fox silver dollar in my race belt. Because, well, even when I'm having a hard day out there, it's nothing like what Terry went through.

(For the record, I also run with a Theodore Roosevelt dollar coin. Talismans are important.)

I also made a point to sprint slightly off course when I ran the Victoria Marathon a few years back so that I could pay a visit to the Terry Fox statue there. (A course marshall thought I was cutting the course -- since the actual course passed on both sides of the small park. But she smiled when I told her I had just needed to run over to grab a photo with Terry.)

And speaking of Terry, I saw this picture today:

photo courtesy Hunter Brothers Farm
Yep, that's the start of a corn maze. An epic, Terry Fox 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope corn maze. How much do I wish I could see this in person? Sadly I don't foresee a trip to New Brunswick anytime in the near future.

Farmer Chip Hunter told cbc.ca that they "decided to pay tribute to the 35th anniversary of the Marathon of Home, and because he ran by our house and we met him."

By the way, the Hunter Brothers Farm makes AMAZING corn mazes ... the Beatles? Cat in the Hat? Sesame Street??? You can see their corn maze archive on their website.

This year's Terry Fox Run takes place on September 20, 2015, information on locations and ways you can donate can be found on the Terry Fox website: www.terryfox.org/Run/

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