Sunday, June 10, 2012

Team Inspiration Dinner—With a VERY Special (famous) Guest

“The miracle isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  --John Bingham

Last Saturday, the night before the big race, over 2,500 of my closest friends, also known as my national network of Team in Training teammates, ascended on the San Diego Convention Central for our traditional Team in Training Inspirational Dinner.  Rumors had been flying around the expo about a very special guest speaker—John Bingham.  I could not wait to get to the dinner to find out if it was true.

I met my team in the lobby of our hotel at 5PM and we walked over to the dinner together.  As we walked into the lobby of the convention center, there were hundreds of TNT staff and family members--some dressed in crazy wigs and costumes--clapping, yelling and cheering for the team members.  Honestly, it was very overwhelming at first.  I did not know what to expect.  All of the sudden all of these people were cheer and yelling for me.  After a few seconds I got into it and started cheering for my teammates too. 

We got our pasta dinner from the buffet and found our tables.  At each seat was a very special placemat that read “at this table sits a HERO”.  I had never really looked at myself or my teammates that way, but I guess to the cancer patients we help, we are.  Each staff member decorated their team’s table.  Stephanie decorated ours in the Hershey theme.  It was fun to walk around and see how the other tables with teams from across the country were decorated. 

After we ate we got to listen to a few speakers.  The first was Jennifer Grandy, the Team in Training National Director.  She had some amazing news to share.  She told us that the national Team in Training San Diego Team raised over $7.3 million!  She also told us how the money would be used.  There is a new, very promising drug that just made it through a phase one clinical trial.  In the trial 28/50 patients went into remission, while only 15/50 went into remission with the old drug.  These results are simply astonishing!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if I was part of finding the cure for cancer! 

After all the seriousness came the fun!  Our guest speaker was the famous penguin runner, John Bingham.  John has written several books on running, and was a writer for Runner’s World Magazine.  John told us lots of funny stories—about the running “bite me zone”, and about sitting in porta potties and why you may never be able to stand up again.  He was very entertaining and inspirational at the same time. 

The Team Inspirational dinner was so perfect to get us in the running mode.  We were reminded of the real reason so many of us trained.  I left the dinner ready to run for such a wonderful cause! If you would like to donate, I am still taking donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  There is a link on the upper right. 

A dream is a wish…


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