Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Today I got up bright and early, at 6:30am, so that I could be up and ready to head out at 7:30am to participate in the Kaohsiung Terry Fox Run which officially began at 8:00am. Since I'm a night owl (and have a tendency to go to bed after midnight), that means I probably had less than five hours of sleep.

By 8:20am- after the hip hop-ish dance moves of student performers (in typical Taiwanese pep rally fashion), introductory comments from supporters of the Kaohsiung Terry Fox Run (the Kaohsiung Medical University, the Canadian Trade Office, Kaohsiung American School), I was still not quite awake, and I reluctantly joined in the opening warm up and stretching exercises.

It took me back to those awkward junior high and high school days... the rapid physical and emotional changes being experienced all happening with record speed that we didn't quite know how to handle them... when the girls would start wondering what the boys were thinking or if they were even taking notice, when the boys were starting to notice, but didn't know what to... trying to fit in, be cool, trying to be yourself before even knowing who you really were, trying not to make too many waves or be too different, but wanting to be acknowledged and liked by your peers... the school assemblies, pep rallies, gym classes.

Today was the fourth annual Terry Fox Run in Kaohsiung. This year there were over 3500 participants in the non-competitive marathon for cancer research.

My family was involved in the first Kaoshiung Terry Fox run in 2001 and at that time there were less than 1000 participants. I haven't participated in 2002 or 2003 marathons, so it is truly with great pride that I witnessed the success of this year's Terry Fox run.

It was impressive to see all of the enthusiastic, energetic young faces, the efficient organization of the event, support of the community, the cooperation of the city; the police managed the traffic as participants ran, jogged and walked along the 5km route that passed through part of Kaohsiung city and volunteers cheered participants along the way, up until the finish line.

It is always so energizing to see the power of numbers... the sight of people running, jogging or walking together, the waves of thousands reaching the finish line. The visual impact gives hope that there is power in people working together towards a common goal. The last time I felt such tremendous goodwill was during the 2-28 Hand-in-Hand Rally.

What a way to start the day!


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