My real reason for running this year is more personal. Last year, 4 days before the Hot Chocolate Run, I landed in the hospital with a full blown case of diabetes. This sudden diagnosis took me by surprise, but in reality was the result of years of being off balance in many aspects of my life. I attended the event last year, feeling amazed at the show of community support for our work and at the same time feeling pretty drained and exhausted. Over the last year, I’ve worked to take stock of my strengths and work to promote health in my mind, body, and spirit, and I decided to train so that I could run in this year’s event.
Running is not easy for me. I sometimes think that I don’t have the strength, stamina, breath, or motivation. Then I think about the survivors of domestic violence and the kids who have witnessed the violence, and I get inspired. Each person who comes to live in our shelter, or who calls our hotline, or comes to meet with a counselor is working toward their own safety and health. In some cases they are starting over. Many think they can’t do it. Then they find the strength. They tap into their resilience, they ask for and accept help, they build new lives and new communities for themselves. They are changing their own stories.
So, I’m inspired by each of their stories, and each of the ways that they write a new story. The new stories are about strength, hope, joy, healing, resilience, health, and connection. If the survivors who reach Safe Passage can do all of that, then for sure I can run for 3.2 miles.
So, I’m still not sure that I can do it, but I have the best source of inspiration possible, and the best possible community around me. Here’s where you come in. While I’m working to train my body for the event, I’m also working to raise needed funds for Safe Passage. Each runner and walker has the opportunity to multiply their efforts by “Stepping up for Safe Passage”. It would mean so much to me if you could add your name and support and whatever contribution is right for you to my fundraising page. The amount doesn’t matter, but the fact that you support me in this is what matters. While I have set a goal, my real goal was to be open about my motivation for running this year. I’ve already accomplished that.
Thank you, all of you, for the ways that our paths have crossed and for the ways that we have shared in our journeys. And, thanks for your support of me and of the work to support survivors and build a violence-free community.