Friday, September 21, 2012

{Guest Blogger} - Fitness Friday

Several of the friends I've made through the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans have chosen to fundRace for the Luekemia Lymphoma Society.  While I've supported each of them with a financial donation, this time around I'm a tad more involved.  I'm turning my blog over to Allyson today, and I'll let her explain.

I struggled and struggled with how to start this post.  I have never been a guest blogger before, so I decided where better to start than at the beginning.

When I was a kid I joined track because I wanted my parents to notice me.  I ran 3 miles straight during one of my practices and I remember that exhilarating feeling of, "Holy crap! I did that."  

Years went by, 6 pregnancies and 6 births went by and I was at my heaviest weight ever, I was depressed, and I needed to get out of my house. That is how running began for me.  People will say, "ugh I hate running."  The thing is I don't love running.  I am generally a lazy person at heart that is why I chose running.  If I was going to exercise I needed the most bang for my buck.  I wanted to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.  That meant running.  

Once I began running I decided to do some races and started meeting some online friends.  I have built up a great group of friends over the years and this is how Brooke and I came across each other. This year I decided to challenge myself and start checking things off of the bucket list.  I wanted to just be able to say I had accomplished some things.  First was to complete my first tri, then I complete my first half marathon, my most recent adventure was completing Tough Mudder.  The last big bucket list item on my list for the year was to finish a full marathon.  

Everyone thinks I am crazy.  If you look at me I am no fitness buff.  I am overweight.  I am in contention for world's slowest runner.  All that aside though, if I want something I will finish it, no matter what that takes.  So what I like in physical ability I make up for in heart.  

I knew I would need some support to get through this marathon so I decided to join the group Team In Training.  You might have seen them running around in purple shirts if you have ever done some of the longer races.  The Team in Training group runs for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  I did my research and found that they have a great score on Charity Navigator, and that the money collected really does go to research and not just to pad the pockets of CEO's.  So I jumped in with both feet.  

It was less than a week later that Brooke asked for prayers for a family member.  Just a few days later she revealed to us that her young 19 year old cousin had been diagnosed with Lymphoma.  My heart sank for her and for her family.  Immediately I thought, "Hey, I should run my race for Zach."  I mentioned it to Brooke and she thought it sounded great!  

I have often thought back to being 19, you've just discovered that adult freedom and are living some of the best times of your life.  Then I thought about how much different that would be if you were undergoing treatment and spending all of this time kicking cancer's butt instead of being able to be a carefree teenager.    

So here I am running this crazy race just to say I can.  The race is the easy part though, because I am able to do it.  I have the ability to get up in the morning and put on running shoes and just start running.  Not everyone gets this privilege.  On top of that I get to raise money for a wonderful cause and I know that every dollar has to potential to make someone else's life easier, by creating more effective treatments, less invasive treatments, or maybe someday even a cure.  

How awesome is it to be able to say that you did that?  You right there sitting in your chair can personally affect the life of someone else for the better just by clicking a button and donating $1, $2, $10, or more.  THAT IS AWESOME!  YOU ARE AWESOME!  

 I am just the messenger bringing this to the forefront of your minds.  You are the ones that hold the power.  

With joining the Team in Training group I pledged to raise $1100.  I am 53% of the way there.  Every little bit helps.  I would love if you would "run" with Zach and I too by making a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Thanks so much Allyson!  I'm sure Zach appreciates your training and fundraising efforts.


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