|Aidan and his service dog, Song|
A little while back, I asked the question to a few of my running friends, "Why running?" and the range of answers, to me, were fascinating. From tapping into a primal instinct, to setting your mind free, to enjoying this simple, basic (yet for those that know it best, wildly complex) and rewarding activity, to feeling an overwhelming sense of accomplishment at achieving something you weren't sure was possible, the answers ran the gamut.
Though with my cousin’s post, I'm reminded, once again, that there are kids out there that can't take a single step on their own, let alone run. This thought, more than any other, keeps me pushing to bigger running adventures. To have the ability to and to not, when there are children that would give anything to feel the ground under their feet, would be such a disservice to these kids. I feel grateful, appreciative, and fortunate to have the opportunity to do what I do, and I am humbled by the spirit of those brave few that can't yet maintain the courage to push on. I feel I owe it to them to keep pushing myself.
Aidan's mother, Maria, wrote:
"It's been 1 year since Aidan took his last steps. I am grateful for the freedom, independence, and speed that his wheelchair gives him. I am relieved that he no longer falls every day. But a big part of my heart broke last year. I miss seeing my son on his feet, and I would give just about anything to see him walk across the room to me again."
I'm running the Goofy Challenge again in January (my 3rd straight year), a half-marathon on Saturday followed by a full-marathon on Sunday, to support my family in their efforts to end Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a debilitating disease with no cure afflicting 1 in every 3,600 newborn males.
In the grand scheme of things, 39.3 miles over 2 days may not seem like that big a feat, but it’s extremely difficult. I’ve left the event each of the last two years injured. I run it hard enough that it’s more taxing on my body than a 100-mile trail race. Last year I finished in the top 5% of Goofy Finishers (adding the half and full times), beating my cousin Jim by a combined 11 seconds (6 seconds in the half-marathon and 5 seconds in the full marathon!). It took me months to recover. I plan on beating that time this year (top 4% maybe???). I’m also very excited to see my family, and to help raise money for this wonderful cause.
Many thanks for your support. It's appreciated more than you know.