I began running in my teens. I ran because it got me out of the house where emotions often ran high, it gave me time to be by myself, and it was a time to release whatever teenage anguish I was harboring. For these reasons, I ran for hours at a time. And running became a part of me and my identity. When I got injured training for the marathon 12 years ago, I knew in my mind that one day I would train for and complete a marathon. But, after two children and a car accident – I had considered that dream dead. Until a friend asked me (she claims I asked her, but I wouldn’t have had the courage) to run the marathon with her to support Change for Kids. And because CFK is so near and dear to my heart, I said yes.
Almost five months ago, I started out by running a mile. One mile. I swore as I ran that mile. Not in the good way – swearing that I would run daily or better myself in some way. In the bad way, the way that includes words with four letters that I don’t like to say around my children.
So, if I started out swearing, why did I keep going? The reason was twofold. The first is that I believe so completely in the mission of Change for Kids. I have spent the past six months in the office working to raise funds to supply our partner schools with the critical resources they need to get their students ready for success in middle school and beyond. I believe so completely that I decided to not just talk my mouth off, but to also put my physical and emotional willpower on the line for Change for Kids.
The second reason is one that many of us have experienced. Nothing motivates more than fear. Fear can be crippling, and in so many instances it is so hard to overcome. For me, in terms of training for and running a marathon, fighting fear is liberating. It is an obstacle to overcome. And for me, it is empowering to overcome an obstacle to meet a goal. But the true motivation comes from knowing that our students have many obstacles to overcome, and their odds of overcoming these obstacles can only be strengthened by a solid education. And that’s where I can help. I can help raise funds to help CFK provide even more resources to our students and our schools. As I’m running, when the miles start to add up and the legs start to get tired, I will focus on the ultimate goal, the reason I am running, and the goal will energize me to the end.