It is with incredible excitement, and great humility, to let you know you that my husband and I will be running the Boston Marathon on April 15th, 2019!
We will be endeavoring on this journey to help raise awareness and funds for a cause that we believe in wholeheartedly. Dream Big! Is a 501c(3) supporting, outfitting, supplying, encouraging and providing opportunities for young girls who, due to economic circumstances, are unable to participate. This incredible organization has provided over $200,000 worth of sports equipment, uniforms, and footwear in such sports as track and field, volleyball, soccer, double dutch, etc. The scholarship programs at DreamBig! have allowed young female athletes to attend “basketball college showcases, soccer and volleyball camps, dance classes, and gymnastics lessons, and hundreds of girls attended Dream Big! Sports Clinics in partnership with local college sports teams.” DreamBig! helps move mountains for young girls and this speaks to mine and my husband’s hearts.
As a kid, soccer was MY LIFE. I was about 6 years old when I joined my first team. In those days, it wasn’t “soccer” as much as it was “bunch ball” and “running around as fast as you can and kicking the ball in whatever direction you happened to be facing”. But, even in those early days, before I completely understood the rules and the strategy, before the hours and days and weeks and years that I would ultimately spend on the field, I learned some of the most important and valuable lessons that I’ve carried into my adult life. One thing I learned is that you aren't going to "win" all of the time. But, I found that the lessons you learn from all of the setbacks along the way will provide the opportunity to learn what you can do to improve. There will be another play, another shot, another game. As cliche as it may sound, “It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up”. I discovered the importance of practice, dedication, and sacrifice. I learned that the play doesn’t matter as much as the game, the game doesn’t matter as much as the season, and the season doesn’t matter as much as the experience. Most importantly of all, I learned the importance of supporting your teammates, AND your opponents, and I found out just how much their reciprocal support meant as well...
No matter what was happening in the world around me, I always knew that I had a team behind my back. Sports helped me learn that I needed and wanted to work hard for my teammates, and that winning the game didn’t, and DOESN’T, happen alone. I played soccer all the way through high school and college, and I still enjoy playing it with my children. I don’t know the person that I would be if I hadn’t had the chance to learn and grow from my teammates, coaches, and the love that I have for the sport. It can take a team to push you and support you beyond what you THINK you can accomplish. I am forever grateful for the support and motivation I received growing up in group sports, and I’m thrilled and humbled for the opportunity to pay that forward, and try to help provide other young ladies with the chance to support, and be supported by, their friends and teammates. When I cross that finish line, I will have a huge smile on my face, not only because I was able to achieve a life goal, but I will have crossed that finish line knowing I was able to impact thousands of young female athletes. - Gen
Growing up in texas, sports were a big part of my life. I played basketball and football into high school, at which point I started to focus my time and efforts on drama and theater.
The lessons I learned from sports were numerous. I learned discipline, sacrifice, determination, focus, camaraderie, loyalty, and more. Sports are where I first learned what it was like to have a team around you to support you when you were falling, and celebrate alongside you when you were soaring.
I learned the importance of being a gracious winner and a classy loser.
I’ve tried to carry these lessons into adulthood, and I am able to reflect back on these lessons in my day to day life.
Along the way, learned the value of “incremental improvement”. If I can learn from my mistakes and better myself, then I can be a better and more productive human being and teammate in the long run.
It’s unfortunate, but also no secret, that male sports receive more attention and support from the general public. The athletes are paid more. The events are televised more regularly and on more channels, etc... I would love to take some part in raising awareness and increasing availability for girls, young and old, to learn some of the invaluable things that I was fortunate to learn growing up.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing our story with you as we train for The Boston Marathon - one of the most grueling and demanding courses in the US. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to hurt. But it’s going to be worth it.
Here is the important part: we consider you our teammates and challenge you take this journey with us. You don’t have to run a marathon, you don’t even have to run around the block - you CAN virtually train with us (we would love that!), but you can also offer encouragement and help by spreading the word about Dream Big! on social media. We only ask that you get in the mix so we can do this as a team.
If you can help with a donation, please know 100% of your/our contributions will go directly to Dream Big! It’s our turn. Let’s do this... together. - Jared