The Marathon

Let's talk about inspiration

I met my best friend before I was born. Attached at the hip from day one, he taught me everything I know about sports. We put on magic shows, and hosted races in our yards. Four months older than me, John is still the best guy I know. He's also the toughest: he's been battling cystic fibrosis throughout his life, yet I've never heard him complain. Not once.

New drugs have extended his life.

New drugs are developed through research funding.

So this year, I decided I'd run the marathon with the CF Foundation. We need a cure, for John and every person battling CF. On Nov. 1, with more than $6,000 raised, I joined 50,000 runners as we tore through the city John and I grew up visiting, and where I've lived since 2008.

From Staten Island to Brooklyn, Queens to Manhattan and the Bronx, I thought about the temporary pain I was feeling. I thought about how my calves would be fine again in a few days, my lungs would recover. I thought about what a luxury that would be for John and every person with CF.

I spotted my parents at Mile 17 and my aunts at 18, my sisters at 23 and my friends 24. My cousin surprised me at 25.

It was the most fun I've had in New York. The way the city comes together, it's incredible.

And suddenly it was over. People texted all night, saying I inspired them. But let's talk about real inspiration. Living with a chronic, life-threatening illness, with no finish line in sight. Now that's a marathon. And to do it with a smile? That's what I call inspiring.

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