I’m pretty sure this blurb is supposed to be the place where I give you a reason to care. But, if you’ve gotten this far, I’m assuming you probably already have one. I do not know your story. It is not my right to know your “why.” But I do believe it is my duty to tell you mine.
I am not a runner. I probably shouldn’t be telling you that, since that’s kind of what I’m banking this whole thing on, but it’s the truth. I have never liked it, never particularly enjoyed the whole burning-in-your-lungs, blisters-on-your-feet kind of thing. And I thought that anybody who did was a certain brand of crazy I had no desire to be a part of. Until I was given a reason to.
There’s this friend of mine – perhaps one of the best human beings I know – who comes from an equally as inexplicably-good family. They are a picture of true grace, of overwhelming kindness, and of faith beyond measure. The father of this family was diagnosed with ALS. He means the world to more people than I can wrap my brain around. Has enough humor and life within him to last an eternity. He, simply put, brings light to this earth. And this disease, this disease did not change that. It only revealed who he is, how pure the love in his heart and the spirit in his soul really are.
I am not going to give any false impressions here. This is not my fight. This is not a pain I can even begin to understand – not like their friends, not like their family.
I am only here to run. About a year ago, I decided to complete a full marathon. It was not easy, and dear Lord, it was definitely not pretty. But I did it for him. Because I suddenly felt it my most God-given privilege to have legs that could do so. It was my first 26.2. It was my first fundraiser. And I was humbled in a way I never thought possible. Inspired by thousands I had never even met. The medal around my neck only meaning something because it wasn’t for me.
So this year, I’ve decided to do it again. For a little bit bigger of a family this time: for Team Gleason. For everyone who has seen this war waged. For everyone who needs a reason to find hope in the battle. But mostly, for them. For those who contain more strength within themselves than we could even begin to imagine. For those who bear the Cross.
We are no more than the love we inspire, the fear we help fight, the hearts we help fill. We are no more than the people whose lives we have made better.
I will be running the Columbus Marathon on October 18, 2020. If you’d like to be a part of the fight, please donate.