“The good you do matters”
It’s been a while! Life has been chaotic, and crazy, and wonderful! My trip to Zion was AMAZING! I will need to devote a post to it at some point, but today I have more important things to discuss- things that pertain to why I started this blog in the first place.
Yesterday was a big day for me on a lot of levels. I spent it both volunteering and running at the Lavery/McDermott 5 K Race to End Domestic Violence in Newington CT. I never could have imagined how much one small race could impact my life!
I’m not normally big into 5ks. Oddly, I feel far more comfortable running a half marathon than a 3 mile race… Possibly, because if my time sucks at least I can still feel good about having covered that amount of distance… jk My original plan was just to go to help staff our table for CT-ALIVE; however, after watching the video above I knew I had to run. Did you watch it yet? No seriously, go back and watch it before you read the rest… I’ll wait.
I wish I had the talent to put together a youtube video and convey to the world what it’s like to endure and subsequently overcome the trauma of abuse; however, now I don’t need to because this girl (Tasha) does it in a perfectly eloquent, touching, and sincere way. Her message rings loud and clear: The Good You Do Matters! It matters whether it’s big or small. There is no wrong way to make a difference, and it may just be that you are making one without ever realizing it.
Running was (and still is) such a huge part of my healing, it seemed only fitting to lace up my shoes and run that race. I wanted to honor people like Tasha who have the courage to make a stand, as well as all the victims who never had the chance to speak up.
I went into the day with a solid sense of purpose. I wasn’t worried about my time or how fatigued my legs would be after punishing them all week (especially after the 10 miles of trail running at a brisk pace Thursday and max incline sprints on the treadmill Friday)… okay maybe I was a little worried, but I figured even if it was awful I could handle roughly 30 minutes of misery for a good cause… and obviously I would love every second of it regardless!
I have to just take a moment and say how wonderful all the staff and volunteers were at that race. They were organized, warm, and genuinely appreciative of every person who came out to show their support. I have done MANY races with fabulous organization and staff, but this race was special. There was a palpable sense of purpose. People were there to celebrate the lives of two important members of their community and to make a difference in the fight to end domestic violence. There was a great sense of commaradery from the time we arrived to set up, to the warm up (which by the way was SO MUCH FUN!!!!), through the race, and even after the finish.
The course itself was a very wet, hilly, trail run through lots of slushy grass fields and occasionally through calf deep water (more like waste deep on me… and oh yes I loved that too!). My legs were like lead from the start, but my race mantra was “You don’t have to have a great time to have a great time.” Instead of focusing on how uncooperative my body was being, I paid attention to the scenery and people around me. Everyone had such a great positive vibe.
That being said I was thrilled to see the finish and completely hauled ass to get through it. I was pretty pleased with my time of 28 minutes, especially given the course was tough, my legs were shot, and I had to stop and tie my shoe at one point. lol Mostly, I was just happy to be there and present in the moment.
Then something completely unexpected happened (well, unexpected by me at least!) I was totally and utterly shocked when they announced my name for second in my age group! It was my first medal for placing in a race EVER. The only medals I’ve ever earned up to this point were for finishing. I had just been joking with the other CT-ALIVE members that my age group was to fast to have placed, and that I needed to get older to place better in races. In fact, I specifically told them that if I continued to run into my 80s I might have a chance at qualifying for Boston… or winning in my age group. lol Of course, their belief in me was not deterred, and I think they were almost more excited than I was when my name was called. Actually, I think it took several minutes for it to sink in I was in such disbelief.
The thing is, I couldn’t care less that it wasn’t my best race performance, or that it was a tiny race without a bunch of elite athletes. I LOVED that race. I loved everything about it (aside from maybe the steep hill that went on forever in the beginning.. jk). Furthermore, if that is the only medal I ever earn for placing in my age group then I will still be a happy girl because it meant that much for it to happen at that race on that day.
The moral of my story is that Tasha is right. The good you do matters, even if you don’t think it’s enough or even realize it helps. So, maybe just maybe this blog matters too. Maybe it’s making a difference for someone somewhere who just needs that little nudge to get out and live life to the fullest. Maybe there’s someone who needs to hear that I’ve been there too, and it’s going to be ok… In fact, it’s going to be better than okay. It’s going to be as AMAZING AS YOU WANT IT TO BE, as long as you’re willing to work for it.
My deepest thank you to all the staff, volunteers, and organizers of the Lavery/McDermott 5K for a truly amazing experience. Thank you to Tasha for your indescribably wonderful video. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I watched it, cried through it, or
forced encouraged someone else to watch it. Thank you all for making a difference in my life, and reminding that I can make a difference in other peoples’ lives too. I will carry that day with me always and treasure the memories (and the medal) forever.
Until next year,