She can normally be seen running alone at the garden almost everyday for about one hour each session, starting at 6pm. Her pace was always steady, and pretty fast too. Never did I spoke to her, except for some occasional waves as we passed each other on the opposite side of the run.
And the last time I saw her running was about, ermm, three months ago I guess. Out of a sudden, I realized she’s not there anymore. Even some of my running buddies here noticed about her absence for quite some times. My assumption was, she moved to some other states for working purpose.
Ok, fine with that.
Except for yesterday, when I saw a glimpse from afar of another female runner that the way of her running resembles the swings and strides as the lady I mentioned earlier, only at much slower pace. Just to make sure I didn’t get the wrong person, I gave a chase. And as I came close to her left hand side I braved myself to take a look at the face of this female runner.
Yup, it was her. The same person. But she appeared with slightly longer hair, and it’s not difficult to see that she had gain some weight too.
I didn't feel good running yesterday. Lethargic. Can't even run non stop for more than 30minutes. I stopped to take a breather at this corner after doing two loops to enjoy the evening view overseeing Selat Tebrau and Singapore.
I slowed my pace down and run besides her. For the first time I started a conversation with her, while running. She was a bit shocked at first, since we’ve never talked before. After a little bit of some self-introductory, I asked about her long absence.
Me: “It’s been a while since you last run here. I thought you’ve move to KL or somewhere.”
Her: “No lah. I was sick. I was hospitalized for a few months. Cancer.”
I was dazed as I heard that. The two most common cancer cases for females are breast and cervix. And she told me she got cervical cancer.
“Fortunately it was detected at a very early stage. And I’ve got it removed. Luckily, or else I would have to do chemotherapy which I don’t want to. I want to keep my hair.”, she told me.
I can’t imagine how her feeling was when she first discovered about the cancer. I can’t imagine how suffering she has been during the operation, and after the operation. I can’t imagine how life will be for her. I can’t imagine how it is, to be related to the word of cancer.
We continued exchanging thoughts related to cancer and running, while finishing the last stretch of our runs. She only did one lap, as she just started running this week and as of yesterday, she still looked a bit weak. I was already on my last lap, out of three. At one point she thought I am a medical practitioner. She looked a bit surprised when I cited a few cancer-related terms that not many people use on daily basis.
“So, what makes you run?”, was my final question to her.
“Because it is something that I love to do. Plus, I like to eat too. So this is the only way for me to balance things up.”, she replied.
And when she returned the same question to me;
“I run because I do triathlon”.
I immediately felt embarrassed, as it abruptly made me realize that I actually don’t really love or don’t have passion in running.
Hang on, I don’t think I have any passions in anything at all.
By the way, as for Sara, I hope she will survive much longer. And I somehow believe, that the spirit of a runner will keep her moving positively in life.