Even with my own personal goals, I don't actually run for myself. I am so blessed to be healthy and able to run and I know there are countless people out there who are not so fortunate. I run for love of them. In high school, I had a habit of dedicating each race to a person who had made an impact in my life. In college I changed this practice slightly, offering the sufferings and successes of each season to a particular individual. When my former high school teammate Megan was in a coma following a car accident, that track season became her track season - I knew that nothing I was going through could possibly be as difficult as her rehab was as she was relearning to walk and eventually to run again. Last fall one of my old theatre friends Emily was killed in a car accident a few days after beginning her junior year of high school. I ran my entire junior year for her and her twin sister Erica, inspired by the remarkable strength Erica was showing during an unimaginably difficult time.
So, what about this season? Who am I running for? As I'm aiming at becoming an All-American, am I running for myself this time? My team has a chance at a National Championship... Am I running for them? Maybe a little. But I could never keep it all together this season without my friend Savanna and her mother, Trish. At the beginning of this year, Trish was diagnosed with cancer. For several months, her doctors seemed hopeful that the treatments were working and that Trish would recover, but not long ago they delivered the tough news that there was nothing more they could do. She and Savanna are now just trying to spend as much time together as they can. I'm astounded by the courage, strength and incredible grace they have both displayed and Trish has even maintained a fantastic sense of humor through all of it. But above all I have been impressed by her unwavering trust in God. It can be easy when life gets hard to get angry and turn away from God but all of her journal entries show a remarkable trust and faith that God would take care of everything. Watching her battle against cancer has made all my struggles seem so insignificant. I'm feeling tired or stressed out or the race is getting hard? So what? I'm so blessed to have my health and be able to run. What do I really have to complain about?
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"
Matthew 6: 25-26
Inspired by these remarkable women and out of love for them, I will continue to run. I know it won't always be easy, but I welcome the challenge because through them I have learned lessons of courage, strength and trusting in God. Trish and Sav, know that you are ever in my thoughts and prayers and I love you both very much.