Kelly Sue's Team In Training Page
1. The act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress.
2. The state or fact of persevering.
3. Continuing existence.
My name is Kelly Sue DeConnick. I make my living writing the English adaptations of Japanese comic books ("manga") and novels. I am not an athlete. I'm not even especially athletic, but I've committed to completing an endurance event -- specifically, the Pacific Grove Triathlon in September -- as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training.
The day I signed up I couldn't run a mile with a gun to my head, I hadn't been swimming in 4 years and though I'd been given a fancy road bike, I'd been too intimidated to actually ride it. At all. So what was I thinking?
That's a complicated answer, but in essence, I was thinking about commitment; I was thinking about endurance.
I'd just celebrated an important anniversary and I was looking back on my life, marveling at what I'd been able to accomplish when I'd given myself over to hope, to faith, to the faintest possibility of success. I was thinking about how difficult it is to maintain that hope in the face of even everyday obstacles, the worst of which for me are self-doubt and fatigue.
I've been very lucky in my life. Born in an affluent nation, into a loving -- if eccentric(!) -- family, blessed with good health, an exciting vocation, creative friends and the most amazing husband any girl could ask for, I still have trouble hanging in there some days. Like you, I do battle with boredom, hopelessness, stress, exhaustion, anger. I fight to maintain my faith, to hang in there, to endure. I manage, but I have countless blessing -- including my health.
How do people face critical illness and hold onto their hope, how do they endure it?
The answer, I think, is a combination of faith, commitment and support.
Faith -- whether it be in a higher power, in oneself or in the possibility of a favorable outcome -- faith is not something that can be given, it is something that must be found, usually stumbled upon in the dark.
Commitment and support, however, can be given generously.
As I train, I am engaging in an exercise of faith. I am offering my commitment and support to individuals and families for whom the struggle to endure in the face of hardship is anything but abstract. I have committed to raising $3700 to help ease the burdens of those individuals and I am turning to you, my community and asking for your help.
If you should have any questions about the Society, blood cancers or this event -- or if you would like me to add your friend or relative to list of honorees in whose names my teammates and I train, please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.