Watching a big race, like today's Boston Marathon, never fails to inspire people to get out and run. For those of you who are thinking, "that will never be me," read on...
***Thank you to our sisters Sarah and Aliza for this contribution.
Yesterday, I had the honor of crossing the line as the first woman at Dee’s Dash, a local 5K held to raise money for a scholarship in memory of Denise Wilson Schaefer, a 36-year-old beautiful mother of two small children who died suddenly of a blood infection last May. The story of her death shook me to the core: How could this happen to a healthy, vibrant, accomplished young woman who had just run a half-marathon two weeks prior to falling ill? As her husband addressed the crowd following the race, with his sweet daughter burying her face into his neck, his words sank deep in to my heart:
“There is a goal here, to be the best you can be each day, because, as I have said in the past 11 months, you are not promised tomorrow, so make the best of the 24 hours. Don’t waste it on trivial items, petty fights with people who just want to bring you down, make something positive occur.”
It was clear that many people in the crowd had been inspired in various ways by Dee’s spirit. After I finished, I was approached by a woman standing on the sidelines holding the hands of two her young sons. “Congrats out there,” she said with a beaming smile. “You make it look so easy. How long have you been running?” When I told her that it’s been forever—or since high school, at least—she responded that she was just beginning her journey and is training for her first 5K, admitting, “I never thought I’d ever be a runner!”
Like that kind woman, my sister, Aliza has also begun taking those initial steps on her journey as a runner. After gamely navigating her way through an indoor sprint triathlon last month, she’s set her mind on a 5K race, her very first. Even as a lifelong runner, I am so inspired by the bravery of Leezie and others out there who are challenging themselves to run towards a goal, and, in the process unearthing strength and grit they never knew they even had.
So, whether you’re taking your training for your first 5K or your fiftieth, this is your time to make something positive occur. (And, if you need any training tips while you're out there, check out these storiesI've written for MyFitness Pal.) --Sarah Wassner Flynn