“It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.” - Irish Proverb
My venture into running began 11 years ago. I was new to Nashville, newly married to someone who wasn’t in town very much and I didn’t have many (/any) friends. One of the things I did in those early days in town was to go to the gym and walk/run 3 miles on the treadmill. I’d played sports competitively and had done plenty of sprints when I was young but had never consistently done distance running. I can remember so clearly how long each of those miles felt, how hard it was to get through them and, the game changer, how different, how much better I felt every time I was done. Over the weeks and months and years I continued to step onto that treadmill and the miles slowly got a little easier and the runs got longer. I did eventually make some friends, some of whom ran and they dragged me off the treadmill (that I love) onto the road and trails and into races until I was transformed into something that I had honestly never imagined I would be: a runner.
It’s hard to overestimate how important running has been to me in the last decade. It helped me transition through so many life changes and adjustments, most of all to being a parent. Its given me time to myself that I need but don’t often get. It’s been both a meditative exercise and an escape, a way to be more present in my life and also a way to just zone out from it all when I needed to. I owe a lot to running.
In about 7 weeks I’ll be participating in my 2nd (and probably last) Boston Marathon. In the past I’ve always prepared for a race in a vacuum. I run alone, train by myself and generally don’t talk much about it to anyone. But this year I wanted to find a way to use my run to connect with people and help others. I wanted to give it meaning beyond crossing the finish line or achieving a certain time (although I do want to do that too!). To that end, I’ve decided to run to create awareness and raise money for Safe Haven Family Shelter of Nashville, an organization that does life-changing work on behalf of homeless families. Safe Haven keeps families who are homeless together, provides them with shelter and eventually permanent housing along with the therapy, support and training needed to gain self-sufficiency and rebuild their lives. My family has been involved with them for a few years and I’ve seen up close the incredibly important, desperately needed, inspiring work they do and I’m thrilled to be running in their honor and in honor of present and future families who need Safe Haven.
Friends, if you want to follow my journey over the next 7 weeks to the Boston Marathon, I’ve set up a Facebook and Instagram page where I’ll be posting about my life during training and Safe Haven. And if you feel inspired to support my run by donating any amount to Safe Haven, I would be so grateful.
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