Honestly though my reason for running has changed so much throughout my life. First it was to be like my big sister. She ran through high school and I always thought it was so awesome that she could run all over town. I was facinated by it. In high school I tried out for track because I wanted to be just like her. During that time, I realized that, aside from her example and inspiration, I really did enjoy the sport. In high school, I continued my love for running by joining the cross country team and continued on with distance running during track. I learned through those experience what a unique group of people runners are. As an adult, I stepped away from running to start a family. 10 years after taking a break, I got back in the saddle but not before setting a goal to run a half marathon. Keep in mind, that before last January (2013) I had never ran more than a 5K competitively. We’re talking…10 MORE MILES than a 5k. I decided I had to aim big because that was the only way I was going to lose the 25 pounds of baby weight I had put on over the past decade. So at this point in my life, running was for weight loss and to also prove to myself that I still had it in me. That the old Andrea was still inside the marshmallow woman she had become. The one who had lost most confidence in herself. The one who had forgotten how good it felt to be out on a freezing cold day running, just to run.
Last year I learned a new aspect of running still. Community. I knew from high school that runners were a different breed all together. Who else runs for fun. Most only run if they are being chased. 😉 I hear that all the time, do you? Or…”I don’t have to run fast, just faster than the guy behind me during the zombie apocalypse.” That’s where the image above comes in! I ran with Mach Ten Running Club in Middle Tennessee last year and love every moment of it. The encouragement and support was great. There are still people who attend group runs and whom I have run races with that I don’t even know their names! It doesn’t seem to matter though because we have an underlining understanding with each other. Then, in September at the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville, God used a group of us women to help out a woman pulling up the back of the race. She has impacted my life far more than any training plan or run. My running life (nor personal life) will never be the same after I met Samantha.
Just a week or so ago, I was introduced to an organization which I just signed up for today. I feel like it will be the Nashville experience…just with every single race I attend. http://www.whoirun4.com matches runners with people with special needs who cannot run a race on their own. I have chosen to be matched with either a child or an adult. To me it doesn’t matter. When a person trains or races, they do it for their buddy. A blogging friend of mine, Dizzy Lizzy, introduced me to this group via facebook. She explained that you send pictures of you training, pictures/videos of you at organized runs/races, metals, bibs, memorabilia from races…whatever you chose really, to your buddy to encourage them and allow them to experience running through your ability. What a great thing to do! You also become a microphone to the public about your buddy’s disability to raise awareness and support!
Lizzy Dizzy also made a very great point. She hasn’t been paired yet but has begun posting on her blog to her future buddy. I plan to take her lead and do the same.
God in Heaven,
I thank you for my abilities and talents that you have given me. I pray you allow me to use them to glorify you and to brighten someone else’s day. I give you my legs, lungs, heart and mind to use as you wish. I pray for my future buddy. I know you have brought all things together in the past, present and are bringing things together in the future to work together for your good. I know already have my buddy planned out. Be with him or her right now. I pray you surround them with your peace and comfort if they are hurting. Give them a sense of hope and love. Today it’s raining and we are expecting a winter storm along with frigid temperatures. What comforts me right now is my warm home, family and my crocheted blanket. I pray you be a cozy blanket around his or her shoulders right now if that’s what they need. I thank you for his or her life. I pray they feel the great worth their life has. I thank you for the support and encouragement they will provide for me. I just pray I can be that back to them as well!
Thank you for your Son.