“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.” -Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner
They say everything happens on God’s timing, and although I’m not one to always be a fan of this thought, I have to say the older I get the more I believe this wholeheartedly.
Four years ago, I got bit by the marathon bug. I wanted to run my first full marathon. I committed by signing up for the Chicago Marathon. I trained and got up to 18 miles. The day I ran 18 miles (I’ll never forget it) was my longest run to date, and around mile 17 I hit a wall. I told my friends, Leslie and Boomer, that I was done and planned on hitch-hiking home. I felt funky and just completely drained. The next day, I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test in complete shock and tears. There was no way I was pregnant, but after three more positive tests I figured I pretty much was. Since I’ve had four knee surgeries from my high school and college soccer days, my OB advised it wasn’t the best idea for me to run the Chicago Marathon, and so I didn’t.
A year and a half later, I once again signed up for a full marathon. And once again, on my first scheduled 18 miler I was in a lot of pain but pushed through it. However, there comes a point where your body tells you it’s more than just the normal pain, and my body was telling me something was seriously wrong. A couple days later at the doctor’s office I found out I had a pretty bad stress fracture. Once again I had to face the disappointment of not being able to do something I had worked so hard to accomplish.
This past Saturday I finally completed my first marathon. Running is truly my therapy. It’s free, and it gives me time to think about life, my family, our brothers and sisters in Haiti, WeAreDAR, etc. During those long 26.2 miles I thought about all those things. I thought about the pain I was going through, the boredom, beating Oprah’s time, and then I stopped thinking and just started talking to God.
I first thanked Him for giving me the health to be out there running. I thanked him for all of you, and then my sass came out. How dare I go there with God, but I did. I asked him why it was so hard for me to pursue what I felt like he laid on my heart to do. Why was he being so “non-responsive” to my bold prayers? I thought if you truly seek and pursue what God set you out to do it would be a piece of cake. In our case, it’s been the hardest damn thing I’ve ever done. All we are trying to do is impact lives by providing life changing opportunities to women in extreme need. Women who don’t even have access to clean water, a basic necessity for themselves and their children. By giving them this job opportunity all of that can change. They will be working under fair trade regulations, allowing them to enjoy their jobs, but most importantly allowing them to change their lives and the lives of their loved ones for good. Providing not only clean water, but food, shelter, and education, thus breaking the cycle of poverty in their lives forever. So why, God, why is it so hard to do? All we need is about 13k and our women can survive for two months. We laid out where every penny would be distributed, and we have tried to reach out to anyone that will hear our story.
I’m not sure if anyone is listening, or maybe these times are just so hard that it is truly just too difficult to give right now… But what I do know is that God’s timing is never wrong. I think He put this last marathon on my path at that exact time because I needed its therapy. I needed the time with Him to understand and appreciate what we’ve already accomplished and that everything will be OK. This marathon was my self discovery of who I am and who I could be while I am figuring out my purpose in this world. It was a reminder that there is peace at the center of every hurricane. We are weathering the storm. We are remaining hopeful and determined. We are DAR.
P.S. In case you were wondering, I did beat Oprah 😉