This past October I traveled with my son and my parents to Myrtle Beach, SC for a fall beach vacation. In planning our trip, we had no idea that close to 2,000 horses would be staying at the campground next door to our resort. The horses and their owners were there to raise awareness and money for the American Heart Association. I will never forget the sight. Hundreds of horses covered the stretch of beach for miles. I had never seen so many horses, let alone so many horses on the beach! It was a special moment for my family as we walked along the beach admiring the giant beauties walking into the ocean and galloping in the sand. It was a memory that my family and I will never forget.
The cause of the event hit home for my family as well. Heart disease runs on my dad's side of the family. My grandpa died when I was eight months old after open heart surgery complications and my uncle is still recovering and rehabilitating after an open heart surgery that he had last year. My dad takes precaution and visits his cardiologist periodically for checkups and tests. Given our family history, I myself try to monitor what I eat and maintain an active lifestyle.
I personally am not a long distance runner but my best friend and I like to push each other physically and challenge each other with fitness feats. She asked me if I was interested in running this half marathon with her and I told her I would really have to think about it first. I prayed about it for days, scared that I might not be able to run the 13.1 miles. After days of consideration and talking about it with my husband, I woke up one morning with a clear vision. I woke up and immediately pictured those horses on the beach that we saw in October. I could hear their hooves hitting the sand and the waves breaking against their bodies. Then I thought of why the horses were there- the American Heart Association. That became my purpose for running this race.
I want to fundraise for a cause that has impacted my family and my life. I want to run for my grandpa who I never got to know, for my uncle who is still here today, for my dad who has a heart of gold and never ceases to support me, for my son who will see me as a healthy role model, and for myself to prove that anything is possible with faith and motiviation. Like the American Heart Association's tagline says, "My heart. My life." And to do anything wondeful in this life, you've gotta have heart.
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