I sat down to write this post with every intention of writing a comprehensive list of who and what I am thankful for. I was even going to try and be witty and come-up with something unique and thoughtful to describe and summarize each person and thing. As I started writing, I found it to be tedious, often redundant, and incredibly boring to read. I also realized that it would turn out to be quite possibly the longest blog post in the history of blogging. I decided that if you are a part of my life, you should know and hopefully already do know how much I love and appreciate you. Whether my family or friends in real life, or if we are strictly "virtual" friends, be you follower of my blog, tweep or dailymiler, you should know how much you mean to me. The love and support I receive on a daily basis is what keeps me going. In fact there is literally nothing I could do without you. You know who you are. Period. 'Nuff said...
What I am going to give lip service to is that I am thankful that I am able to run. For so many years I didn't believe I could run. The simple act of running means so much to me. Running makes me a better person. Running is therapeutic and far cheaper than a therapist. Running helps me to heal all of the pain and wounds of my past. It forces me to deal with all of my emotional baggage in a way that is healthy and empowering. Running makes me want to stay active to set a good example for my children. Running ensures that I will be around for a long time to share in all of the memories to be made. There was a time when I was doing all of the wrong things and I just didn't care. When I was pushing 300 pounds I couldn't even think of the future. When I run now, I plan my future. Running makes me feel connected to my family, my friends, the Earth, the Universe and to God. I feel as though I am an integral part of his grand design.
I am thankful that I am able to run, because I am able to run for those who can't. I am able to use my legs, my heart, my strength and determination to raise money to help others. This is something I feel so passionate about. It may not be huge, but I like to feel as though I am making a difference no matter how small. Over the past year or so, between Lex's Run and "Miles for Miracle's" Lex and I have been able to raise nearly $15,000 for the MDA and Children's Hospital Boston. Running for charity helps me to see the kindness and generosity of the human spirit in action every day. Every day, I have friends, family, acquaintances, and most astonishingly, perfect strangers make donations to one or another of my campaigns. They send me emails and notes thanking me, blessing me and telling me how much my work means to them, has touched them or inspired them to do the same. It's these interactions that make it all worthwhile.
This is why I continue to challenge myself daily. This interaction is what fuels my fire and drives me to do more; to run faster and farther, to raise even more money, to take on more causes, which spurs my creativity. Whatever I do somehow doesn't feel like it's enough to be complacent with what I achieve. While running my double 5k this morning as part of the dailymile "Feed the Turkey" Virtual Turkey Trot for St, Jude's Children's Hospital (there's still time to participate and donate, so check-out the link), I had a brilliant idea that I will be implementing during my training for the 115th Boston Marathon. It's an idea that I have been tossing around in my head for months now, but I finally figured-out how to make it unique and therefore ensure it's success. Let me assure you this is going to be huge! So, stay tuned for the news once I work out all of the details...
I've come-up with several creative ways to raise money for my "Miles for Miracle's" campaign this year and I am going to raise $10,000 before I get to the starting line in Hopkinton this year. Hopefully, many of you will be the beneficiaries of said creativity. The first of many creative "angles" I've taken is to raise donations through blog contests and giveaways. I've already received several items from some awesome individuals and companies to give-away through these contests and I am so thankful to all of them.
Speaking of which, we are in the middle of my first contest now. I've received a handful of donations and entries this week, but I need to get more. It's getting cold outside and nowhere has it been more apparent than on my pre-dawn runs this week. Brrrrr! If you're like me, you'll be out there tomorrow, or some time within the next couple of weeks putting-up your holiday decorations and it's going to be apparent to you that we are done with the "indian summer" portion(s) of the Fall. Could there be a more perfect time to enter this weeks blog contest?
Goto: https://howtohelp.childrenshospital.org/bostonmarathon/pfp/?ID=wd0030 and make at least a $26.20 donation ($1/mile) then come back here and leave a blog comment letting me know that you donated and you will be entered. I will assign each entry a number correlating with the order they were received in and use the Random Number Generator to select the winner of this weeks prizes <<<
I'd like to sign-off this evening with with a quote from my friend Sarah Stanley (@sarahstanley) of http://sarahstanleyinspired.com/:
"Time does not heal all wounds,
but it does bring you a step closer
to turning them into a beautiful scar."
When she tweeted this the other night I was instantly moved because I completely identified with it. One more reason I am thankful that I am able to run... Running helps me buff and polish all of my scars! Every scar has a story behind it. When I tell the stories of my "beautiful scars" there's always the possibility that someone can identify with that story and/or benefit from it.
I'm really not a runner, but I am a warrior! Bring it.