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I Run For Terry Fox

August 25th, 2006

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I turned seventeen in the summer of 1981. I was working at Food City at the Bramalea City Center, about a 100 yards from Queen St, Brampton’s Main thoroughfare.

When Terry Fox came jogging up Queen St. in July 1980, the store emptied. If you where a customer running in for a quick bag of milk, there may have been a cashier on duty to serve you, but you where out of luck if you needed a price check, a carry out, or any kind of service that grocery customers normally take for granted.

We were up on Queen St., watching with awe, knowing we were witnesses to history.

I don’t remembers what I felt, don’t really remember feeling anything although I must have done. But I was eighteen, still so terribly self absorbed that I know I didn’t cry, didn’t shed a tear as he hobbled past. Many of the adults, however, did. I worked with Sid, a 20 something single guy, who was of the cool class, and remember seeing a tear on him.

The most surprising thing, however, was the speed. We had all seen Terry Fox on TV, the news each night covering his progress, but the speed with which he moved simply never made it through the TV.

Six weeks later on August 29th, the newscast started with Terry. Lying on a stretcher, it was his turn to cry. A few months too late, I wept with him, as did so many other Canadians. He would die the next April, leaving his run unfinished, his dream of $1.00 raised for every Canadian wildly surpassed.

Getting myself out of bed at 4:15 this morning, to train myself to run 5K in time for the Marathon of Hope next month, I think of how hard it must have been for Terry Fox. How that artificial leg must have hurt with every step. Moving with that speed, on one leg, every day he ran 24 miles, and 5K suddenly doesn’t seem so ridiculous.

Five years ago when I decided to shape up, I upped my exercise regimen and enjoyed none of it. I do it, I don’t like it. The Terry Fox run is different. It’s not just exercise, not just running, it is a privilege to able to do it, an honour to carry on the Terry Fox tradition. Never mind that it’s about raising funds for cancer, never mind that so many people are running for loved ones who have battled cancer. On Sept 17th, I run for Terry Fox.

If you can’t run, and don’t know somebody who does run, please consider sponsoring me for the Terry Fox Run by making a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation. To do so in a secure, on-line manner click here. I assure you I will never see a penny, it will go straight to the fine folks at The Terry Fox Foundation.

I will be keeping a running track of the amount have raised on the upper left corner of this site. It is currently at $85.00, and I deeply appreciate every person who has donated thus far.

Here’s a few video links to remember Terry Fox:

July 12th – In Toronto
Aug 29th – It’s Over
A Video Archive

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