Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Core of My Message

I’ve done a few interviews… made international papers… Australian TV interviews… just did one for the Headline News. The media just learned I speak Spanish and now CNN Spanish and Univision have asked for an interview. Those of you who have joined late in the game or those of you who have just started reading this blog can tell that I have no problem sharing my story. If you want to read the story, it’s a lot longer and more complex than just a marathon win which is why this blog exists and I thoroughly appreciate those of you who no matter when you joined have started from the beginning. If you wish to read, hear, some of the latest interviews, they are linked below though if you’ve read this blog, I’m not sure there’s anything new just more exposure.

With it various people with golden hearts and great intentions have encouraged me to focus on one message and make sure I share that. People who worry about finances, I’m one of them, have said make sure you encourage the scholarship fund ( and in simple frankness while it hasn’t been mentioned in every interview, that is the one request I make in order to give someone a few minutes of my time and if you donate I love you ;). People have suggested that I try to milk this for my 15 minutes of fame (I dare to dream I’m 14.5 minutes into it as I write this). People have suggested that I continue to do things like raise money for the organizations that have helped me like I have for Livestrong, Duke, the Brainpower 5k and a simple glance at all those will show that I have done the best I know how for that. And in these interviews they’ve gotten nods, with me wearing a Livestrong shirt on one, a Duke shirt at another, my running group shirts on others, one with team Luke’s, one with the ARC’s Ship of Fools, one with the Austin Marathon, and another upcoming with Conley sports because each of these were incredibly intricate and important into why I am able to keep going. Those nods are because each of those organizations, doctors, individuals are awesome and I owe them a huge chunk of my life. And yes I agree that their needs to be an advocacy for exercise in general. There may need to be more specific ones for how cancer can ruin many things financially and practically, to encourage people to take control of their diagnosis and I am happy to be a spokesperson for that and have made videos for organizations for that (see those by looking for iram and livestrong and I like those better than the youtube video that should get me banned from karaoke bars; in seriousness while the youtube makes me wish I was thinner and sang better I do love that it shows Kiana taking it all in and literally enjoying the rides) but those aren't my primary cause. I've been invited for some races and have been glad to take the invite cause I love running and Kiana does to. One race asked that I do a virtual race for father’s day and they would donate part of the profits to the charity of my choice. I said yes and chose wonders and worries, the one that because I couldn’t drive came and did counseling with Kiana at her daycare, they gave me the tools and guidance to speak with a 5/6 year old more appropriately about these things. And they aren’t one I’ve said appropriate thank you’s to. I hope this counts.

For a guy who says running is his therapy, I do actually meet with a minister and attend a church regularly. I’ve been reprimanded by people for not shouting praises to God higher on my facebook statuses and in this blog about how he’s saving me. But if you read it, you can read that not once have I asked people to pray that God let me beat this. And I’m not ready to give credit that God is saving me because in simple logic, if I am ready to declare that God is choosing to keep me alive, you have to deduce that those who haven’t survived were somehow God’s choice to let them die and I'm not comfortable with that. So I don’t know… I have no divine revelation… but I’ve focused on that text from the only book in the Bible that doesn't mention God “Who knows if you were brought here for such a time as this?” I want to help. The way things lined up that I once put off brain surgery to run a marathon and the only one that’s gone well since then is also the only one that’s ever let me run with Kiana seems incredibly blessed. So maybe it’s for such a time as this but the first part of that book is also who knows? And I don’t but Esther chose to act without some gigantic divine revelation and I’m trying as well because I believe that you trust in God but you should also lock your car. And I’ve referenced many things in here in regards to that but I ran the marathon out of gratefulness that the appreciation didn't come too late not seeking new blessings  One of the songs I’m listening to right now is Larnelle Harris’s, “Beyond What I Can See:”

If not another blessing came,
I’d still give Him praise;
The balance of my days.

Others have tried to get me to advocate for running any distance or a marathon in specific  but as I jokes in one of the interviews, I have my brain screwed up is why I do so many marathons :) and, I’m not sure why other people do it. But yes, I do believe exercise in whatever form should be done and am very proud of my mom for doing her first half marathon last year and the the 5k on Sunday with me and Kiana having done a kids dash and a track workout since the marathon that she won. And so that is part of my message, be good to your body because it’s good for your soul, body and mind. 

Others have said this is your way to get a girlfriend or at least a few really hot dates. And while I am single and haven’t had a girlfriend since high school, I’m not sure that there’s going to be girls lining up to say, hey I know your finances are shot, have a kid, and cancer but at least you run well, what are you doing later? Planes don’t let you check in that much baggage, I am not sure anyone is ready to get into a relationship with that. Because if you are my number is 867-5309 ;)

And yes 2 weeks ago, I couldn't get into any marathon pushing a stroller and right now there's a scholarship fund for her since they were nice enough to let me in and I was blessed/fortunate/lucky enough to win it and for that I have 2 words, thank you. I think that thank you nowhere near suffices that they'd never heard of me before and now are helping me sleep better at night because one part of my daughter's future is a lot easier to contemplate. And has gifted us an entry and they aren't announcing it anywhere but I am because this kind of memory will be a different kind of fun than any other run we've ever done because it's an obstacle run that I'll be doing with her and another friend who will help us overcome race obstacles.

But, yes I’m broke and unemployed and in debt. Yes I believe in my church, in Livestrong, in Duke, in Seton, in Wonders and Worries, in exercising. And if you want to donate/participate to any of these things, I and the appropriate cause will be grateful and I believe you will be better. But the core, the core of my message is one thing and one thing alone. Make memories with the ones you love and that matters more in my life than anything else and do it till you get to the finish line. There may not be a medal, or a trophy or international headline but if they know that they are the biggest news in your life everyday. If my legacy is that I loved my daughter and others better and encouraged others to do so, I will live and die in peace. It may not get as much attention as the Gusher Marathon did but if you do that, just like me, I promise you won’t experience a more meaningful win.


  1. I'm one of those that came across your blog after seeing your win on the yahoo news feed. I tend to stay away from news channels because they always bring bad news into my life but your story was an absolute pleasure to read and your blog is also. I completed my first half marathon this weekend just past and think I may have finally caught up with the running bug that has until now always eluded me. I wish you and your daughter all the love in the world and look forward to reading about her first run out of the stroller xoxo

  2. I agree. For me to triumphantly talk about how God is being kind to you etc, feels like you're saying He's being the opposite for those who aren't doing so well-health wise.I hope the fund grows and grows for our little princess.

  3. AMEN to your core message - making memories with the ones you love is SO important! Many blessings to you and beautiful Kiana.

  4. Good evening,
    My name is Stephen and I live in Rome and, like her, a father of a child of five years old.
    I just wanted to tell you that you did a wonderful thing, I was moved to read the history of his and his daughter, but I was very good to know that there are people like you, thank you.
    Do not ever soft!!!!
    Good luck, is said in Rome "in bocca al lupo!!!!"
    A hug to his fantastic daughter.
    Stefano Tiberia
    a father

  5. Iram, it is good to read that you - and you alone - are seeking God's will and direction in your life. Nobody else can do that for you nor should judge you for how you go about doing it. I didn't pick up on that when I read your blog before knowing that I was going to have to introduce you on the stage in Beaumont, but it was my prayer while driving over that morning that you either had a personal relationship with God or were exposed to have such a knowledge.

    I have a daughter and while I've failed many, many times in my life, I keep striving to the best that I can for her with God's help, direction and guidance.

    I'm glad that I had the opportunity to meet you and have the chance to make the "finish line" call of your win, but what impressed me the most is your honest gratitude. Far away from any spotlight that had already come your way and was to come, before you left for the day, you said to me, "Thank you for making the announcement" about the stroller wheel.

    I've never had a request like that before and didn't exactly know how to phrase it, but I'm certain that God supplied me with the right words for the right individual to share what was needed at the right time ... all I can say is that "that's faith" and why I believe.

    Keep seeking God's perfect will in your life. That's the most simple thing we can pray for anyone that we come across in life.