Monday, January 30, 2012

Livin' on a Prayer

I've been trying to figure out what to post about.

I could go through mile-to-mile of the 12 I ran this weekend.
It was following a 3-hour birthday celebration at Chuck-e-Cheese
and fueled on a breakfast of greasy pizza,
which is impressive... 
but sort of a snoozefest. 

I could walk you through how much I loathe mid-week runs,
but get incredibly excited to go to bed early on Fridays so I can run my heart out the next day.
But I just did, and that's not much of a story after all. 

But there is a celebration to be had.
It's not an obvious celebration, but certainly worth celebrating.
This weeks marks the half-way point of my training. 
I downloaded a lot of Bon Jovi songs to aid in my celebration,
and my heart is fist pumping. 

Seriously though,
it's pumping really hard.
My heart, that is.
In 69 days I will run 26.2 miles with a ton of people who are are legit runners.
Who wear running sleeves that aren't actually attached to their shirts,
and have running shoes that even look fast,
who run and don't have to stop for the bathroom,
or some, I have learned, actually just don't stop.
These people actually had to run another marathon in record time 
in order to even be considered to participate in this race.
AND don't have to listen to Jon Bon Jovi to do it.

So, I'm half-way there.
And it is true that I'm living on a prayer.
I can only assume that 12 miles feels much different from 26.2. 
SO, in celebration of being half-way there, 
I present to you 13.1 reasons to donate to the Hoyt Foundation:

((13)) Team Hoyt chose me to run for their team in honor of my brother, Ryan.
I feel strongly that people with disabilities should be open to the same possibilities that able-bodied people are. The Hoyts are living proof, and I hope to give an ounce of hope to someone that they too can accomplish anything.

((12)) My training includes over 400 miles throughout the streets of New Orleans.
I'm not sure if I'm more impressed that I haven't been shot or that a pot hole hasn't swallowed me whole. You donate a dollar, I dodge bullets and leap over 400-year-old oak tree roots - fair trade.

((11)) I have given up my Friday night wine consumption and instead plan on how I'm going to better the lives of hopefully many.
I've been through hundreds of yards of fabric, dozens of spools of thread and countless hours just to get to Boston.
There I plan to visit the Children's Hospital of Boston, where I will see with my own eyes where my hard work and dedication and some of your dollars will go to. 

((10)) Dick and Rick Hoyt have finished 1,072 races together.
That includes 6 Ironman Triatholons, where Dick pulled Rick in an inflatable boat for 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles with Rick riding shotgun, then pushed him 26.2 miles.
And I thought my Saturday's were productive.

((9)) Rick Hoyt just turned 50, and his father, Dick, is 71.
I am 26... and suddenly my knees don't hurt anymore...

((8)) The Hoyt Foundation supports Easter Seals,
an organization that works endlessly to help people with disabilities to live full and productive lives.

((7)) Rick and Dick not only make me want to be a better sister to Ryan and to support people regardless of their condition, but to also to be a better mother. 
The unconditional love that they display makes me want to push, pull and wheel Gray in 1,000 races -
not because he can't, but because I would.

((6)) Being a part of this team has opened my eyes and heart to so many emotions and experiences.
From learning to sew, to battling runner's trots, to understanding the passion behind charity running, I feel I am a better person now than I was 10 weeks ago. I see people differently. And although I am gaining so much personally, for maybe the first time in my life, I feel completely selfless.

((5)) The Hoyts have reached an incredible amount of people in similar situations with their slogan, "Yes You Can."
Every time I see that slogan it is all in caps, and I think that it is that way for a reason. It should be loud and proud and used well after Dick and Rick decide that they have run their last race. So many families, such as mine, have found themselves saying, "Wow! I can't believe they are doing this. What can I do to help out?"
I think that little people like me will be able to spread their inspiring words and story forever.

((4)) This has inspired me to figure out what I want to do in the long-term of my life.
I've always wanted to help, but I wasn't sure how. I'm still figuring out the details of my grand plan, but I feel entirely at peace putting my personal needs aside to help someone else.
I think the Hoyt Foundation is a great start to what I feel will be an amazing life journey.

((3)) I believe I am creating an incredible story to tell my son.
If you know me, I'm all about telling a story... and a lengthy one at that. I thrive on details. I have a feeling that this 20-week experience is going to pave a lifetime of story and inspiration to guide my son to be an incredible friend and companion. You just can't make this stuff up. I think I'll make him proud.

((2)) I, with the help of the Hoyt's, will hopefully be inspiring others to make similar decisions in their life.
I don't mean that everyone needs to run a marathon to raise awareness for disabled people, but rather find what makes them helpful to their community or family or surroundings. Because if I can promise any advice to anyone, it's that joining hands with other people for a meaningful cause is a very powerful and uplifting experience. It's contagious in that I don't want to stop. I want to help Team Hoyt, my brother, the blind child down the street, the old man juggling his groceries to get to the car, my son when he can't figure out his buttons, my friend when she has man trouble, my mom when she's exhausted from babysittting, my friend who just had a baby, and anyone else who crosses my path. 

((1)) Ryan is living proof that a disability only holds you back as far as you let it.
This is a logic that just cannot be taught - it must be experienced. Pushing oneself comes with benefits. For Ryan, it was driving, buying his own home and owning the hell out of SoHo Tampa. For me, it will be a marathon; a marathon that will entirely benefit those who need that extra motivation to make their own life dreams happen. 

and the 0.1, which is the shortest part of a race, 
but oftentimes the most powerful and memorable part:

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

((0.1)) Our kids, our future.
Let's make way for unsheltered minds who don't judge and who treat others equally. May this kid and his friends not be afraid to stand up for what's right and love all shapes, size and colors.
Kindness will go a long way...

Join me in making a difference

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