Today, being Valentines Day and all, it seems like a good day to share something that's been on my heart.
I'm a selfish runner.
Not what you were expecting? Just stay with me for a minute.
I have always been a selfish runner. It took me a year to even tell another person that I ran. Once the secret was out, it took another 6 or so months before I even ran a training run with another runner. Running was the one and only thing that I did exclusively for me and I wasn't willing to share it. I felt like I would lose something special, something important, something that I can't even really name, if I let someone in to that part of my life.
Since then, I have learned the joy of running with a friend, with my husband, my children, total strangers. I have learned that sharing running can definitely be something special, something important, something that I can't really even name.
But now, I don't wanna just run, I don't wanna just share running. I want to do something with it. Something special. Something important. Something that I can't even really name.
Many of you may already know that Nate and I have a heart for children who, for one reason or another, cannot be raised by their own parents. Four of our six children could not remain in the home that they were born into. Each of them, for different reasons, even though they had living parents, found themselves needing a permanent home.
While our children came to us for a variety of reasons, do you know what the number one cause of parentless children around the world is? It's not domestic violence, it's not drug abuse, it's not teenage parenthood. Its HIV and AIDS. Sixteen million children worldwide have been orphaned by this virus, a statistic that breaks my heart. And this isn't just a third world problem. 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV. Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the United States in infected with this virus.
I am, by nature, a fixer. And when faced with this information I felt like there was nothing I could do. I can't go to Africa and build an orphanage. I can't take in another child. I can't provide healthcare to a sick mother.
But I can run.
I will be running the Chicago Half Marathon with Team to End AIDS (T2 for short). My goal, besides to run my best race ever, is to raise 1600 dollars for this charity that provides hope, healthcare, education, and housing to those living with this disease. I am already extremely close to reaching this goal. If you would like to help, you can check out my fundraising page HERE.
I will keep you all posted as to how my training is going, and I plan to post some video blogs from our training runs in the windy city!
*An Aside: Donation dollars are NOT used to cover race / travel expenses. Each runner is responsible for the cost of the race fees as well as travel expenses. Just thought you'd want to know. :)