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Jerry's Journey: When plans are dashed

6:02 PM, Jun 9, 2013   |    comments
The 11Alive team at last year's Dash4Dad
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My grand plan finally worked out.

Only, it wasn't the way I'd planned it.

Thirty-five years ago, I was a high school runner. My father was a college track coach. Logic and loyalty dictated that I would compete on the next level for dear old dad.

Logic and loyalty were outvoted by circumstance.

Just a few months prior to my high school graduation, Coach Jimmy Carnes announced his retirement from the University of Florida. The timing was nothing more than coincidental. Another opportunity beckoned, and with twenty-five years of coaching under the elastic band of his Nike shorts, my father couldn't resist.

So, I came up with a different plan.

It all worked out. My father proved to be a successful businessman. I relished my time at the University of Georgia.

Still, I've often wondered what it would have been like.

Now I know.

Of all things, cancer has provided me with a second chance to run for my father. In fact, this Saturday will bring the opportunity for all of Atlanta plod for pop. Zero and the Men's Health and Wellness Center will once again host the Dash4Dad Prostate Cancer Run. Hundreds will gather to flounder for father, perspire for padre, to amble for their ancestor.

Half of every dollar raised will fund cancer research, testing, and support in Atlanta.

Since the first Dash4Dad in 2008, Zero and the Men's Health and Wellness Center have provided more than 50,000 free prostate cancer tests and more than $1 million for prostate cancer programs and research in the Atlanta area.

This is a case where running is not just good for your health, it's good for someone else.

Once again this year, 11Alive is constructing a team to enhance the field. Last year, we traversed the 3.1 mile course wearing hospital gowns. A little something to catch your attention. I'm not so sure I can sway my compatriots to repeat that bit of wardrobe wizardry. It was not conducive to world record performances. Plus, we got more than a few funny looks.

Instead of wearing a college track uniform, I ran for my father in a long blue cloak with a slit down the back.

Isn't it strange how your plans can twist and turn and work themselves out with a whole new look?

Cancer's plan was to eat away at my family. It took my father. It threatened me. It wants the others.

I'm derailing that plan.

Forever.

Sign up for this year's Dash4Dad by clicking here.

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