Reality check II

As I have blogged before, in a few weeks time I’m running in a 10k race and so I went for a run outside today and achieved my objective: completion in less than an hour. Provided that I keep up the training regime from Amy, I now have a positive mental belief that I can complete the course and in a time with which I’ll be happy.

The first mile was hard going while my legs warmed up, and when I got to the four mile mark I knew I was going to finish. Having run the distance I know that I can run the distance – it will just be down to preparation, timing, and how the day goes.

But why do I mention this again so soon? Early this afternoon I was feeling pretty good – and then I had a telephone call.

I knew that my friend and mentor, Dave, had had cancer in 2010 and had been given the all clear after an operation. Last year he had a relapse and he was undergoing both radiotherapy and chemotherapy – I realised that the outlook was bleak, but we kept in touch and were completely honest with each other. I wouldn’t shirk from asking hard questions, and he would answer with clarity – the same traits we had shared when we met for mentoring sessions.

Dave died at the end of last week. He was 64.

My life is the richer for having known him, and emptier for his passing. But can I take something positive from this rather than dwelling on sadness? I think I can:

  • keep it honest
  • don’t back off just because a question might be tough, if it’s appropriate – the other person can always decline to answer
  • despite a bleak outlook, Dave tried to keep positive – and that’s a lesson we should all learn

Two things today from which I can take positives. Two very real reality checks.

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