So it’s now 2012 and – guess what – my marathon is in 2012. Oy. There’s no more saying, “when I run my marathon next year…” I thought it was a super clever idea to put a timer counting down to race day on the Run Strong website but, whoa, is it moving fast. I am, however, happy to announce that I am up to an 11.2 km route that I did for the first time over the holidays. It hurt, but I did it!
As many of you – who have made fun of me for watching The Secret at least once every few months– know: I am a big believer that we are who we believe we are. And we achieve what we believe we’ll achieve. When I first put the idea of Run Strong out there, there was a part of me that feared that people wouldn’t get it, or that people wouldn’t feel compelled to support it, or - perhaps worst of all - that people didn’t think I could do it. But, there was another, more powerful, part of me that knew not only that I would finish the marathon, but that I am connected to some of the most generous, supportive people with such a strong sense of social justice, and that, out of that network, Run Strong would take on a life beyond what I had envisioned for it.
And so has gone the story of Run Strong in its first 5 weeks.
It all started with Kevin at CCI. Kevin is the Sales Associate that worked with me to develop the Run Strong website and one of the very first to hear of the concept of Run Strong. In the middle of the website development process – in a routine email he sent me about the site – Kevin added a paragraph saying that he thought Run Strong was a great idea and that he was considering running the marathon. I hadn’t even launched it yet and I couldn’t sit still knowing that Kevin wanted to get involved! Every time one of you have posted a link to the blog on Facebook or sent a message encouraging me or posted a comment or offered to run with me, it has stopped me in my tracks. Honestly. My eyes have watered many times when I’ve opened my email or logged on to Facebook and discovered how gracious you’ve been about taking up this cause. This week I want to give a special shout out to my awesome brother-in-law Dean for being awesome; to my neighbor Lisa for being the latest amazing runner to say she’ll run with me; to the fantastic Taryn W., and Sharon F. - 2 incredible women who are now blog followers; to my cousin Tara N., a woman who really and truly inspires me; and to one of my favourite people in the world, Howie P., for also following my blog (and always cracking me up). Because of all of your support I’m proud to say that the Run Strong blog had over 650 page visits in its first month!
There is one additional very special thank-you I want to say this week. When I was at Queen’s University, I was blessed to become friends with Mike Herzog, truly one of the funniest, kindest people I met during my years in Kingston. Mike and I haven’t seen each other since our days at Queen’s, but – through the magic that is Facebook – we’ve been able to keep up-to-date on the latest in our respective lives. When I first posted about Run Strong on Facebook, Mike immediately re-posted and asked his networks to support this initiative. It was incredible to me that an old friend would so willingly advocate on behalf of something that means so much to me. That was just the beginning: Mike has generously offered to use a platform he has developed for endurance athletes called GoodGuysTri to get the message out about Run Strong. GoodGuysTri has a fabulous and active following and Mike has pro-actively come up with ways that this wonderful platform can support the Run Strong initiative. I was humbled and overwhelmed to have access to this amazing community of athletes that Mike has built and wanted to sincerely thank you, Mike, for your incredible support. I also want to encourage everyone to visit goodguystri.ca and to support the work Mike does to fundraise for impossible2Possible (i2P), an organization that inspires, educates, and empowers young people.
To close this week, I wanted to dedicate a few moments of remembrance to the women in Ontario that lost their lives to gender-based violence in 2011: women killed by a current or former partner. In memory of these women please take a moment to watch this video created by Women’s College Hospital: reflecting on these women and remembering each of them by name is so important to understanding why it is critical that we continue to work to end violence against women. Thanks for running with me.
Dec. 6 - Women's College Hospital Remembers from Women's College Hospital on Vimeo.