Yesterday marked World Cancer Day, a stark reminder of the relentless grip of this devastating disease. For me, it's not just another day on the calendar; it's a call to arms in the battle for prevention.
The memory of my mother's battle with cancer, which ultimately consumed her, stands as a stark testament to its indiscriminate cruelty. The pain she endured, witnessed by our family and her community, remains etched into my memory. Though 13 years have passed, the anguish feels as raw as if it were yesterday.
It's a reminder of the fragility of life and the urgent need for action.
In the face of such adversity, we cannot afford to remain idle. We are called upon to act. It is our collective duty to prioritize cancer prevention through awareness, education, and, quite frankly, by simply doing what we know is right. By championing healthy lifestyle choices and advocating for regular screenings, we have the power to mitigate the risk factors associated with cancer, potentially sparing countless individuals from untold suffering on a global scale.
I envision a world where tobacco, alcohol, physical inactivity, and poor diet hold no sway over cancer incidence—a world propelled by the "outruncancer" vision, fueled by personal determination to rise above and cultivate resilience.
"What if I" – a phrase that dances on the edge of possibility and potential.
I am sure I am not the only one to utter these words, letting my imagination take flight into realms of endless potential.
But while it is a power that sparkle my creativity and can propel me forward towards alternative path, it is also one that shackle me to a parallel identity never realized.
That shadow self, formed by the untapped potential of the countless "What if I" scenarios left unexplored, can become a silent burden under all the pressure.
Each hypothetical scenario is a call to action and active pursuit. A challenge to bridge the gap between imagination and reality.
Embarking on the journey of personal growth and success in both sports and life requires a willingness to shed the burdens that anchor us down, the weight that holds us back.
In the pursuit of excellence, effort is our propellant.
Effort is not just about hard work; it's about intentional, focused, and sustained action. It's about making choices that align with our goals and value.
The willingness to give up what weighs us down is a powerful act of self-determination, a conscious decision to rise above obstacles and reach for the skies.
And to maximise the output of this effort I must let go of self-doubt, fear, and complacency.
Rolling out of bed this morning was challenging for no particular reason; it just felt difficult. My mind was enveloped in a lazy fog.
It's hard to put into words the myriad of emotions from this morning's memorial for Keith. Sadness, joy, respect, friendliness, connection, love, despair, acceptance, and more were all palpable in the air, accompanied by the haunting melodies of Scottish pipes.
I wasn't sure what to expect this morning, but I knew I needed to attend. I walk away with a renewed appreciation and gratitude for a functioning body and a commitment to look after it. It can all be taken away in an instant, and whether we find it fair or not, it can happen to all of us.
But I also walk away with a feeling of gratitude, to the friends and family in my life. I know they have my back, and their love, much like that of Keith's closest friends, transcends.