I spent all of my childhood and young adult life thinking I didn’t have an athletic bone in my body. I never played sports, I felt uncoordinated and clumsy in gym class, and until I was it was far-fetched to think I could run a mile without stopping. Then in 2013, after my third child was born, I was encouraged by a co-worker to join the team she was putting together for a local 5K. I was not sure I’d be able to run 3.1 whole miles, but decided to give it a shot. Turns out, I did it and survived. The next year, May 20th marked the 20th year of my dad’s untimely passing, largely due to poor health choices. I knew I wanted to do something big to honor his memory and also to show my own children that I would do my best to take care of the one body God has given me. So, on May 19, 2014, nearly 20 years to the day after my dad took his last breath, I ran my first half-marathon.
Now, five years later, I’m going for the full—26.2 miles of movement in the Detroit Free Press International Marathon. I still sometimes have a hard time believing that yes, I am, in fact, a runner. I sometimes get caught up in comparisons, because I’m human and think that if I don’t run at a certain pace then maybe I’m not all that great at this running business. But running this marathon is more than a pace. It’s more than how many pre-race training runs I can complete or what kind of running gear I wear. This marathon is a test of mental and physical endurance and a chance to prove to myself and to others that we can accomplish far more than we ever might think possible. Hard things can be overcome. Finish lines can be crossed. Challenges can be tackled.
And along with the theme of challenges and adversity and difficult journeys, the other large part of my marathon is for a larger cause than just my own. I am running as a part of Team Woodside, raising funds for Woodside Bible Church’s Thailand Orphanage. Every child deserves a safe home. Over 2 million Akha people live in Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Southern China. Many Akha orphans are victims of the Southeast Asia sex slave trade. Woodside Bible Church built the Thailand Orphanage, offering a safe and caring environment for orphans. Team Woodside partners with the orphanage, which currently houses 66 Akha orphans, helping to create a life of hope for children in need. Please prayerfully consider helping me reach my fundraising goal and donating to the cause. If you are unable to donate, I would still greatly appreciate your prayers and encouragement.
Your support will mean so much to me here in Michigan, and also to the children of Thailand!