I got out for an easy 4 mile run today. A run that made me laugh & cry; I was feeling excited, determined and humbled all at the same time.
You see-I had been waiting to listen to the rest of a podcast from Jake, RunLikeHealth that was featuring fellow Maine runners, Danielle and Sarah to discuss Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism and the satellite 10k on 12/26 This would be the run where I could finish listening to this podcast.
I met these two lovely ladies online through Dailymile.com and bloggyland but finally had the chance to meet them face to face at the Maine Marathon Expo at the OJ/T4A table. Shortly after meeting with Danielle and Sarah, I joined up with Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism-I run in honor of my nephew, Nathan who is on the spectrum.
To back up a bit-when I started running, it was for a very self serving purpose: to burn calories to lose weight. Along the way, I fell in love with running and it took on SO much more meaning in my life. Running to me now is my therapy, my "me" time, my social time, my hobby, my love, my passion. Running is on longer a chore and it has brought so much to my life. It has helped me reach my goals, it has brought some amazing people into my life and I have been wanting to find a way go give back.
This summer when I ran Run for the Fallen, I did it because I wanted to "do something bigger than ME". I have been searching for the something that had more meaning than just about me and a way I could give back-pay it forward. I had looked into several charity teams etc. but nothing really hit home for me.
That is until I met Sarah and Danielle and learned about Train 4 Autism. I thought about it for a while before I made the commitment. (Y'all who know me KNOW I don't do anything unless it is full-on, full-force 110%!!) and I wanted to be sure this was the right place for me to "hang my hat".
So as I am listening to Jake, Sarah and Danielle talk about this upcoming race to celebrate Sam's 61st marathon this year (ummm-can I get a amen??) I got SO excited to be meeting some of these fabulous Maine runners that I have been socializing with online. Then there was discussion about Sam coming to Maine next October to run MDI (Mt Desert Island Marathon) and *ding*ding*ding*, I think I committed myself to that race right then and there.
Sam talked about all he had been through this year running and how the awareness had grown. I thought about how he made this amazing commitment to run all this time, taking him away from his children and wife. The travel. The miles. The recovery. And he was making a big difference. I don't even know him and I am SO dang proud of him.
Then I started thinking about Sarah's post the other day about her little brother (you can read it here-get a tissue!) and thinking about my nephew, Nathan. I got all choked up and tears started rolling down my face (not good on a cold, Maine morning).
I had finally found that thing that was bigger than me. I found a way to make a difference. I found a way to give back. And I found a way to honor someone who is so special.
How can I not be so excited to be a part of something so wonderful??
So I am asking you, please, do a couple things this weekend.
Check out OperationJack.org and find the satellite run in YOUR area and run.
Not one near you? How about you just join us on your own and run your own distance in honor of Sam, Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism and anyone you know who has been touched by Autism. Come back here and tell me about it or post it on Dailymile.com.
Spread the word!! Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell anyone who will listen. Tweet. Blog. Facebook. Email. Snail mail. Pass notes. Get the word out!
Please make a small (or large donation) to Operation Jack. Even if it is one dollar, every bit counts and leads to change.
It's my birthday on December 22nd and I want to celebrate!! All I want for my birthday is...
Now here's the fun part!! If you would like to make a special birthday donation, you can visit my Operation Jack/Train 4 Autism page here:
If you make a donation to OJ/T4A, leave me a comment telling me so.
For those who make ANY AMOUNT donation (one entry per donation), I have a super fabulous CHRISTMAS STOCKING* filled with all kinds of RUNNING GOODIES to giveaway. You have until midnight on 12/26 to enter. I will announce a winner on 12/27.
What is in this fabulous CHRISTMAS STOCKING??
Here are some of the goodies that you will find:
A pr of Balega socks (will custom size/gender for the winner!)
A tech shirt from The Maine Running Company (ditto on the size/gender thing)
Cliff Bars-assorted flavors
A bottle of REAL Maine Maple Syrup
A $5 Target gift card
A special portrait drawing of you by LOLA!! (priceless)
and MORE! This stocking will grow and grow between now and 12/26!!
*this stocking is made by me and none of the products featured in this stocking were given to me by the companies listed. These are just a few of my favorite things that I want to share with other runners. I was not compensated in any way by any of the brands listed.