Hi. Here we go again. By now you should be used to seeing these fundraising requests; they come almost every year. In fact, I've been doing this so long, this year, I've reached a milestone—it will be my 20TH MARATHON! And about my 14th with Achilles.
I am in a writing class, and recently had to spontaneously answer a writing prompt (you don't take time to think, you just write): What's cool about _________?
Here's what I wrote:
What's cool about running the marathon?
I love running. It's my therapy, meditation and exercise all rolled into one. Marathon day in NYC is an exceptional and motivating experience for me every year. You can hear the crackle of electric energy and excitement at the start in Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island as the runners congregate. For me, it's similar to standing around in the school hallway before a huge test. In between, bagels, walks to the portable toilets, and stretching, runners anxiously discuss how they trained, what they ate, whose running schedule they followed, what training runs they did, and on and on.
Running the NYC Marathon is my day to give back to Achilles, and help people like Tony Grossi, who has a congenial foot defect and has to wear a brace. This will be my third time running with Tony, but I've also paired up with blind runners and members who wore prosthetics. There is nothing better than being on the course that day, helping guide someone and hearing the encouragement from thousands of cheering supporters out in full force in all five boroughs. Crossing he finish line is a joyous sense of accomplishment — for me and for the person I am guiding.
It just never gets old... (although I do after 20 of these 26.2 runs). Running and training is my time to appreciate Central Park and all its beauty every season. It's my second home. I know the 6.2 mile loop possibly better than I know Sloan. The inclines and declines, when the water fountains that say "tested for purity" get turned on and off depending on the season, and how long each path is... it's definitely my happy place. All feels right when I'm in the middle of Central Park amongst the trees and the Fred Lebow statue cheering me on. While I do have a stockpile of medals, it's not about these souvenirs; it's about how running makes me feel. The runner's high is the real deal. If I don't run for a few days, I am a cranky, grumpy mess. Just ask Reese and Griffin!
So please help me cheer on the runners who give it their all on marathon day, showing how if you put your mind to something, you really can accomplish it. Help me support my brother-in-law, Adam Gaon, who laced up his shoes a couple of years ago, and discovered he had a secret running talent. He'll hopefully be whizzing through his first ever marathon at lightning speed! And of course, please support Achilles by making a donation, and cheer for Tony and the other Achilles members who deserve accolades for their persistence and being inspirational.
And then, after we hopefully cross the finish line, come celebrate with me (and Adam) at our apartment any time after 5pm. Just stop by and say hi for a snack and/or drink. I'd love to share this special day with you!
Sending NYC Marathon love to you all,
PS - I'll send out an update with Tony's number so you can track us.