Running For A Cause: The Greatest Reason to Run
Everyone is motivated to run for different reasons. The list is long and diverse — and it can be many different things at once. For me? Running for a cause is the greatest reason to run.
In 2009, I signed up with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training to raise money for LLS in memory of my father, Domenick DiNicola, who passed away in 2002 from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Never having done a mile — let alone 26.2 — you’d think of starting off slowly and signing up for a half marathon to begin with. But I’m a little too competitive with myself, so I signed up for the Miami Marathon. I pledged to raise money and complete 26.2 miles in five months.
And you know what? I did. And it was so rewarding that I continued with TNT as a mentor for the seasons following. I wanted to help people train and get through their own journeys the way others helped me.
Throughout my training, every time I let that voice inside my head say “you’re crazy for doing this” or “what’s the point?” or “how is doing 26.2 miles helping anyone?”, I’d force it away by thinking that every step I take, every mile I cover, every ice pack I apply and every foam roller I use — I’m doing it for those who cannot.
It’s for every family member that has died from cancer. It’s for every patient currently in treatment. It’s for every person that can’t cross that finish line on their own. I do it for them. The money I raise is helping patients and their families get through to see tomorrow. It gives people hope. It gives people a chance to live. It gives people another day.
I fight that voice in my head that says I can’t, and I get through each mile by thinking about my dad and how he didn’t have a choice but to fight. He had to keep going, and so do I. He was my inspiration for that first event, and will always be, no matter what or when I’m training.
Now, as a member of the Finish Line Physical Therapy team, I get to see so many others doing the same thing as me, especially with the ING New York City Marathon coming up in just a few short weeks. I see patients come in this office struggling to walk and leaving with a huge smile on their face because their sessions here helped them get stronger and continue their training. It’s even more inspiration to see people day in and day out continue to train for a cause.
It’s amazing to run. It’s amazing to feel that accomplishment of completing a marathon. But when you complete a marathon not only for yourself, but for thousands of others who can’t, how could you not think that running for a cause is the greatest achievement of all?
Megan DiNicola is an administrative assistant at Finish Line Physical Therapy. She joined the Finish Line staff in 2013 but has been part of the running community since joining Team in Training in 2009. Megan graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts and one day hopes to run her own children’s theater. Read her full bio.