Many months ago, I wrote a couple posts about a group I belong to called www.whoirun4.com. They match up runners with a special child who, for whatever reason, can’t be an active runner themselves. Many have terminal illness, some can be active but may have autism or other special qualities which make it difficult for them to go about their daily lives like the mass majority of the population of the world. I wrote one post before I was even matched about how excited I was about this group. Then when I got matched, I introduced my buddy, Liam, to you all! Today I want to introduce you to Lego Liam! He is a physical, tangible representation of my buddy Liam in Lego form!
When I first was matched, I felt very excited to have a friend to share my miles with! I spent some time introducing myself to Cheryl, his mom, and learning about him. I was ready to run, but my body had different plans. See, this time last year I ran the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee and two weeks later, the Middle Half Marathon in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I am not sure if it was running the two races so close together or the fact that I had gotten new shoes two months before that. What ever the cause, the result was an injury to my piriformis muscle, which is one located in the buttocks region. It is close to the sciatic nerve and an injury there usually messes with the sciatic nerve, too. As this portion from WebMD.com states:
Since piriformis syndrome is usually caused by sports or movement that repeatedly stresses the piriformis muscle, such as running or lunging, prevention is often related to good form. Avoid running or exercising on hills or uneven surfaces. Warm up properly before activity and increase intensity gradually. Use good posture while running, walking, or exercising. If pain occurs, stop the activity and rest until pain subsides. See a health care provider as needed.
I had no choice but to take some time off of running. I would do a few runs here and there, but I really had to back way off. This past week, I decided to try to get back into things, for Liam’s sake. I had put in under 10 miles for him from the time we were matched until this past week due to resting the muscle. I decided it wasn’t fair to him and even if I had to walk every mile for him, that’s what I’d do. Once I started that and I felt good, I decided to walk a bit and run a bit. For the first time in months, this week I ran two consecutive miles!
While I was happy to report those miles, I know that sometimes I do better with a physical reminder/motivator. Sure I “check in” with him on facebook, but I thought it might be helpful to have something I could carry with me on my runs to keep me focused and remind me to pray for him.
All of my boys love Lego bricks and men. There isn’t a day which goes by that one of my boys doesn’t tell me about an adventure they are having with their men and the space ship they fly in. Then I thought about one of the boys at the children’s home we will be visiting in India. The toy he carries around everywhere he goes is a little Lego man.
“What about making a Lego Liam,” I thought. “He could go on adventures with me and it would be like the real Liam was always with me!”
So that’s exactly what the boys and I did! I told them about my idea and asked them if they had a Lego man they could put together for me that could represent Liam. I showed them a picture of him, they went through their stash of parts and put together the one, the only, the original…Lego Liam, complete with sweatband on his forehead!
Last night, we went trick-or-treating around town and I was able to get about two miles in that way (walking of course). When we got home, the adventures of Lego Liam began! The sneaky little fella got into the candy last night and after he found his favorites, he built this:
He was so creative! He made a candy castle and even found a sucker staff to gaurd his sweet abode with! Isn’t he cute standing there? As I was introducing Lego Liam to the real Liam and his mom on Facebook, he reminded me it was time to get shoes laced and feet on the pavement for today’s run so off we went. Of course, not before he put a hat on his head to maintain his body temperature. Crazy guy, he wouldn’t put a sweatshirt or anything on though. He says it’s just not his style. He prefers his California tank top. It was really cold and windy today. It actually snowed last night once we got home with the boys. At any rate, off we go for a run of a little under two miles.
Along the way, and not far from our home, Lego Liam decided to stop and see the fall scene at the creek. Fall leaves, cold water and sun rays coming in between the branches was what he saw. One thing’s for sure though, he’s a bit of a drill sargent! Before I could even catch my breath he was telling me to get back on the road to home. And that we did.
I hope you all stay tuned for more adventures with Lego Liam. I’m sure we will see lots of interesting things in the days and months to come. If you have read my blog for long, you know we have some very exciting trips coming up. I pray Lego Liam inspires others, keeps me focused on Liam and encourages him to grow stronger every day! I will be registering soon for Special Kids Race which takes place in April and Lego Liam will be right with me!