Running has been my passion for years, however running in races has never appealed to me. I only do them when it is for a good cause and I will only do them with my Train Dirty Fitness team (my training clients). While it may seem odd that I only participate if they will, it truly is for a higher purpose. I do this because when they cross the finish line and I'm there cheering them on, it signals a whole new beginning for them. It signals their journey of believing in the impossible.
My first race was a half marathon in 2009 (I know right, who picks a half mary as their FIRST race ever?!?) and it poured on me for the entire 13.1 miles. I ran by myself, no team. I wanted to quit so badly because my body ached, I was soaking wet, and truthfully I was feeling defeated because I was hitting close to the 90 minute mark of running. I knew my time wasn't going to be good. I knew that I was one of the last runners left on the course. However, I also knew that I had 2 people waiting on me at the finish line to cheer me on. As I crossed that line, all I could hear was my little boy yelling "Go Mommy," and as I looked up, I could see my husband smiling at me with a thumbs up sign. At that moment, ALL of the doubts and fears I had, slipped away as if they were never there. I had done the impossible. I beat my own fear of not finishing. Crossing that finish line didn't mean the end for me, it signaled a new beginning. Which brings me to today. I run charity races with my team and I push myself to finish before them, because I refuse to allow a single girl cross that line without hearing someone chant their name. Seeing their face light up when they hear me is priceless because I know the emotion they are going through. They have fought their fears and finished a race that at one time seemed impossible.
I have been training my TDF clients for 2 months for a Stars & Stripes July 4th charity race that raised money for the local United Way in my area. Over the past 8 weeks I've watched them sweat, struggle, and push past barriers they didn't think they could ever achieve. I'm seen them want to give up, I've seen them roll their eyes at me (haha), and I've seen them pat each other on the back. I was there when each one crossed the finish line. We started this as a team and we finished as a team. I wouldn't have missed this event with them for anything. Training them was an honor, not because I was able to get their bodies in shape to run/walk a 4-miler...training them was an honor because I was able to give them the gift of believing in themselves, and THAT is a priceless gift.
Giving a glimmer of hope to someone who has none is what it's all about for me. These girls aren't stopping at this race because this wasn't the end for them! That night they already asked me about another. The next charity race is already scheduled for September. So be on the look out for the TDF team as we run for a local elementary school principle who was recently diagnosed with ALS. You can't miss us, we will be the biggest team there, cheering the loudest for each other...oh and the pink tutu's we wear make it easy to spot us also :)