I’m a runner.
I’m not particularly fast. I don’t set records or win races. But I’m a runner. And as such, I run for a variety of reasons.
Sometimes it’s for fitness. Sometimes it’s just for fun. Sometimes it’s to train for something bigger. Sometimes it’s to be social and catch up with friends. Sometimes I run to clear my head, to work through ideas and find inspiration. A few weeks ago I ran in order to try and process grief and let my emotions out.
On Sunday, I ran for a cause.
I have this friend. I’m proud to call Deb* one of my best friends. She has had Type I diabetes for thirty years. And when she asked me to be part of a team this year to raise money for diabetes research and celebrate thirty years of NOT letting this disease get the best of her, how could I say no!? Along with twelve others, I fund-raised and trained.
Some of the group ran the 10km, some the marathon and some the half marathon. It didn’t matter. Together, we raised over $8000 and showed up to the start line on May 27 for a 7:00 AM start. (That right there is love!).
We all sported our crazy Team Diabetes shirts and as this run was a celebration for Debbie, some of us even donned bright red, yellow and black tutus. (Yes, even some of the men!)
For me, the day started with pain killers for some pulled shoulder and neck muscles. But the pain was soon forgotten as I got caught up in the spirit of the day. Besides, you don’t run on your shoulders, you run on your feet. And soon, I was in the groove and ready to aim for a time. For some in the group, this was their first 10km or half marathon, some were going for a personal best, some were just going for a run. It didn’t matter. Everyone ran their own race.
I crossed the finish line and was happy with my time. But I wasn’t happy with my finish.
I caught my breath, circled back and waited. I didn’t have to wait long, because there, coming around the bend, smile on her face, tutu flying in the breeze, was Deb.
I jumped in, and hand in hand, tears in our eyes, we ran the final stretch together. Celebrating!
Sunday wasn’t just about running. It was about friendship. For me, it was a day to be surrounded by amazing, positive, fun people. Some who put their fears aside and did something they said they would never do. Some who modified their goals and their own plans. But all of us came together in mutual support of a an amazing friend.
Have you ever participated in an event for a cause? Tell me about it. If you haven’t yet, I strongly encourage you to sign up. Push yourself from your comfort zone and give it a try. You won’t regret it!