“That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”
~ Kara Goucher
Thanksgiving Weekend, I did something different with my running. Instead of being the athlete digging deep trying to reach a goal, or beat a PR time, or even just a race distance I was the athletic supporter helping others dig deep. Helping others reach a goal. Helping others finish a race they weren’t entirely sure they could complete. My friends and family and the internet in general has heard me go on and on about Team in Training and how grateful I am to have them in my life. They’ve helped me reach goals that I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted when I started. Goals I truthfully said offhand with very little thought as to how I would accomplish them. They’ve helped me realize the world is bigger than me and the problems that I feel could end the world. They’ve helped me realize that there’s so much more I could do for others that I haven’t yet begun to help with. They’ve helped me realize I’m just a bit more stubborn than I let myself believe I am.
Because of that, I wanted to help give back and show others how awesome this opportunity is. I can talk and email and Facebook on and on about it, but it truly doesn’t show as well as I would like. So I volunteer my time. I mentored other runners with goal, I helped support practices by being there for Waterstop support on multiple occasions and I’ve donated time and money where I could. Thanksgiving weekend, I went out and supported the TEAM yet again. This time I purposefully walked most of the race to find our slowest Half Marathon participant and ensure they finish. We found her and let her set the pace all while reminding her that we were there for her. And I was inspired. Inspired by Dianne, the participant we found who we saw visibly dig deep within herself to find what she needed to keep going. Inspired by an elderly man waiting for his wife. (They were in the event together and he would run a bit then wait for her to catch up. He was a cancer survivor who didn’t understand why God did bad things to good people.) Inspired by the group of ladies who were walking because one of their group had injured herself and could only walk. They brought cheers and chatter that I’m sure inspired the crowds around them if not at least a smile. These are all things that inspired me to keep going with this new season of fundraising. Inspired by how supportive our coaches were of all our people. Inspired by how well those coaches knew the participants they helped train all season. Inspired by the people around me. Inspired by the people who believe in me enough to make a donation to my fundraising efforts.