This winter has been hard. I am fighting for a lot right now. I am fighting to be a better wife and mom. I am fighting to be a better version of myself. I am fighting against circumstances and variables. I am fighting to stay positive. So far "fighting" seems to be my word of 2014.
When Lucy was 4 months old I decided I was going to run another marathon with Team World Vision. As the weeks wore on kids took turns getting sick. I struggled to lose baby weight. I got in a few great runs and then got cut down by injury. I decided to throw my hands up in the air and "Let it go." My dog died. I would get up, I would get knocked down. I would get up again. Rinse and repeat.
And so this is me telling you: I am running this race - the LA Marathon - on March 9. Actually, I'm running half of it. A friend of mine is running the other half ... we signed up for the race together through the charity relay for the event. I have been afraid to even talk about it because of my pride. In October of 2012 I was on top of the world. I was in the best physical shape of my adult life. I'd just run a PR in the Chicago Marathon (and in 2012? I ran TWO marathons). I'd raised a LOT of money for clean water and blown my fundraising goals away. It was easy to talk about it. It was FUN.
This year I find myself in a new place. I feel uncomfortable in my own body. I'm nursing a baby. I feel slow and a bit war-torn. I'm undertrained. I'm tired. I'm still trying to figure out how to be a mom to three kids. And yet? I have everything I need. I have more than enough. I even have fight left in me.
Yesterday I ran 5 miles mid-day. It was hot. I was tired. I set out from the house and it wasn't long (.84 miles, actually) before I was standing outside the gate of Sydney's school. She was outside finishing up lunch and she ran over and gave me a kiss through the fence! It was the encouragement I so desperately needed. I ran off toward the ocean with grateful tears streaming down my face.
One of our sponsored kids in Tanzania - Ava, age 11 - used to have to walk 5+ miles a day in the heat THREE TIMES A DAY, carrying a 45 pound jug of dirty water. Now, because of people who gave, Ava is in school with her friends just like my daughter and her friends. The clean water crisis is over in her life, for the rest of her life.
There are other children out there who need us. If you have anything to give, now is the time. $50 gives one person in Africa clean water for life, but ANY AMOUNT HELPS. Thank you for running this race with me. We cannot let them down.