A few years ago, I swore I would never pay to run again. But I also caught myself swearing cancer wasn't going to kill my mom and well - here we are .. this foundation, the people behind it and the people who support it (yes, I’m looking at you) sit near and dear to my heart.
The week before my mom died, I had just finished writing my letter to Still Kickin to nominate her as a “still kickin hero” because holy crap ... she fought. She fought the fight against cancer so beautifully and showed the truest form of grace. During that last week, my mom’s health took a major turn for the worse and I was never able to send the letter. Over a year later, it still sits in my drafts folder. If you were at my mom's funeral, the founder of this foundation is also the author of the book I read from that the service. Seemingly perfect for such occasion:
"You won’t do it because you are Superwoman, you’ll do it because it’s your life and there is nobody who can live it for you. You will do it because you come from a long line of strong women. Women like Britney and Reese and Jackie. Women like Beyonce. Women like your mom, who pushed you out or picked you out of the whole world to love and raise you up. Women like you, unless you are a man, in which case just imagine a women you admire and be like her."
SO here’s the thing.. if I have to run, I’ll run in the presence of women, I’ll run for my mom, I'll run for my DAUGHTER who is part of a 2% statistic that survives a rare syndrome diagnosed in utero, I’ll run for all the women who are unable to run and I’ll run in support of another family who finds themselves praying for a miricle while damning a newly received diagnosis or timeframe. My mom would say, “there’s always hope.” Let’s not forget that.
STILL KICKIN WROTE: The Still Kickin feMNist team has been put together special for this Women Run the Cities race. The original #feMNist design was one of Aaron's last creations he gifted this world before he died in 2014. Because yes, dudes can be feMNists too. Same as with Still Kickin, proceeds from the sale of the original feMNist tee and other feMNist items, along with this fundraising run help to support a family or organization in financial need. We’re building a braver, more supportive world — one shirt, one workout, one person at a time. Most Americans don’t have $500 to cover an unexpected emergency, and unexpected emergencies always cost you more than $500: they can decimate you financially, and crush you spiritually. That’s where we come in. Each month, our board selects a Still Kickin Hero—usually nominated through our website— and chooses based on their story, need and alignment with the Still Kickin way of life. Past Heroes include: Dave Baker, a runner with Huntinton's Disease who was also homeless; Roshee Cryer-Greene, a mother who escaped a cycle of drugs and abuse to provide a better life for her children; and Darth Vader (yes, his real-legal name), a veteran, single father with leukemia who spent this last year running 31 half marathons, 22 tough mudders, 1 full marathon and 1 full triathalon... all while needing to have his leg amputated. The amount given to the Still Kickin Hero depends on how much we’re able to raise through workouts and merchandise sales. It’s not just about money. It’s about being seen, sharing the struggle and harnessing the collective energy of a compassionate group of people who care enough to help a stranger through the hardest days of their life.