Runners and other athletes often use the mantra "There will come a day when I can not do this, today is not that day". It's simple yet profound. Embrace your ability to do what others can't and don't let the opportunity pass you by. I've been thinking about that quite a bit lately, all the years I spent thinking I couldn't do something because I was too afraid to try and fail. Sometimes I wish that I had just found the courage to push past my doubts and done things sooner, but at least I've found it now.
The more I run and am blessed by countless opportunities, I feel the need to give it back to the universe in some way. Pay it forward. I was doing my usual internet browsing on the train ride home from work when I stumbled upon WhoIRun4.com. The story of two friends encouraging and inspiring one another through running touched my heart in a way that goes beyond just the joy of the sport. One comment on a post on Facebook gave birth to a whole new movement. The idea is pretty basic, there are people who can not run and people who love to run, so they get matched up together to uplift and motivate one another. I've spent the past few days reading through the posts by both sides and can't make it through more than 5 posts without crying. It's seriously amazing.
For those of you who may not know, I have a special place in my heart for kids who are differently abled. In elementary school we had a unique experience in that the only 2 groups of students who attended were either placed in the gifted program or in the special needs program. I'm sure any of my Webster Wildcats who follow me here would have to agree, going through a school like that changes you. I think Justen & Katrina might be the only Webster Alum to keep up with my fitness journey (and I'm super thankful that you do!), but I have no doubt that they have a similar outlook. Helping students in the special needs program with lunch or teaching them about managing money gave us a completely different appreciation for things most of us take for granted. Ever since then I have always felt a bond with special needs kids and had told myself that if I ever had the means I would consider adopting.
Obviously my next step was was to sign up to be matched immediately. I filled out the form and anxiously awaited a reply. I got a response saying Congratulations I had been accepted and now all I have to do is wait for a match! It's sort of like being in line at Hogwarts waiting to get placed by the sorting hat. All of this excitement building and you get to see everyone around you burst out in joy when they finally get their match. I have to say, this feels like one of those defining moments in life. You know that something great is about to happen and the anticipation for that moment builds every second. In the meantime, I'll be dedicating all of my runs to anyone out there who needs it.
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