It was New Years Eve 1995 and all my decisions had led me to the bottom of the heap. While my life may have looked good on the outside, it was empty of peace confidence and respect in myself.
On a whim, I decided to do a New Years run through Central Park. It was a midnight 5k run (3.1 miles) and many marathoners found it a fun evening to dress in costume. On mile two I thought I couldn’t go on. A very tall man running in front of me had emptied the contents of an old mattress, put holes for a head, arms and legs in it, and climbed in. He turned around looked at a few of us lagging behind and said, “Come on, are you really going to let a mattress beat you?”
I laughed, pushed through and finished. It was the first time I had been proud of myself in many years. I walked home smiling. I had accomplished something.
For the next few months I continued to run and to push myself. But I noticed others had supportive family on the sidelines with posters and smiles. It made me think about the company I was keeping. And it encouraged me to look deeper at my choices.
In 2009 I was set to run the Oklahoma City half marathon when I got bronchitis, viral pneumonia, Influenza A and B. I was down for months.
Whenever I try to run again, I get started but usually mononucleosis (yes it can reactivate more than once) or some other respiratory illness stops me. But I don’t give up.
So, in the spirit of encouraging others and myself, I would like to challenge you, Hamilton County.
From Wednesday November 25th to New Years Day, I would like to host a 50k. You run or walk 31 miles (one mile at a time or a day if you like) and log them. Present your electronic or paper record to the Syracuse Journal office during the first week of January and your name will go into a drawing for a grand prize of $100.
PS I am entering the challenge too. We will have someone else draw the winner.
You can run around your bedroom, in your yard, on a county road. Just a little a day to reach your goal. Maybe you stand up from your recliner and walk in place on each commercial break of a show.
You must be a resident of Hamilton County to enter.
I would love families to do this together as well. But I know there is a rule where athletes cannot accept financial gifts. So anyone still in school or younger will be entered in a kids raffle as well. And yes, my daughter will be entering that one too.
I see so many things in the media that can weigh my spirit down. Let’s lift each other up instead.
I hear all about everthing that is going to hurt you. I don’t often hear about immunity boosting. Sunshine, laughter, exercise, vitamin C, D, Zinc and less processed foods wouldn’t hurt us.
My dream is still to run a half marathon. I don’t know what the future holds but I can try like hell.
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