Anyone who knows me well, knows I am a big Rockies fan. I can recall being in 5th grade and hearing that Colorado was getting a baseball team. I remember there was voting for the mascot, I remember hoping they went with Colorado rather than Denver (I mean, the whole state will be cheering, not just Denver), and I remember how cool I thought it was that their initials were the same as mine :)
Through the years, how seriously I follow the Rockies has gone up and down. I lived in Guatemala for 4 years (2011-2015) and only knew how they were doing by Bleacher Report sending me scores after games. I knew a few of the players, but didn't follow too closely. I was busy learning to be a soccer fan.
My dad has always been a fan. He watches or listens to most games, knows all the players, etc. When I was going through treatment for cancer I was living with my parents and so I, once again, became a huge fan. I knew all the players, I knew their record, I became a huge fan of Charlie Blackmon (who wouldn't be??); I was in. And we watched at least part of almost all the games. It was a great way to pass the time when I did not have the energy or did not feel well enough for much else. It almost felt like I was hanging out with some good friends.
During the off season, I heard that one of their pitchers, Chad Bettis, had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had surgery and then had to go through chemo when it spread to his lymph nodes. I didn't really know too much about him as a player, but felt connected to him through his diagnosis. He had
surgery, thought he was clear and then later found out he needed chemo. It closely matched my story. He finished his treatment May 2017, exactly a year after I had finished mine. Yesterday he made his first major league appearance since diagnosis and treatment. It made me quite emotional. I teared up as he took the mound and got choked up again everytime they talked about his comeback. His return took a year less time than mine and is on a different level (as he is a professional baseball player), but I could not help feeling like his comeback was partially mine.
I have done many other races since finishing treatment, but there is something special about the Ascent. I had dreamed of doing the Ascent for years before I first signed up. Training for it because my usually summer activity. Even after moving to Guatemala, I knew I would return one day. But things started getting in the way and pushing back my return. Now it is only 4 days away. It makes me excited, it makes me nervous, and it makes me emotional. I have said that I always knew I would return, but I don't know if it was 100%. On Saturday, it seems it will be.
I had a lofty goal time for this year. I wanted a PR. But it become more than that. I would still love a PR, but I am not sure it is reasonable to think it will happen. I will go for it, and I will be okay if I don't get it. It just becomes a goal for another year. On Saturday I will hike/run that mountain. I will push myself. I will finish, and I will do my best to enjoy every second of it. And whether or not my comeback is as great as Chad Bettis's, it will be a pretty grand day :)