Last Friday night, I let my fears overtake me. Stephen held me close as I let the tears silently fall on my pillow. I've never been injured before and this is really bad timing with only 6 weeks to go and so many expectations riding on my shoulders. Something has changed, I'm not sure what. I used to take pleasure in running with my husband but now, it has become emotionally and physically painful.
We watched an excellent movie called The Book thief about a young girl who finds freedom in books amidst the horror of war. Her simple acts of courage inspired me, reminding me that courage does not have to be big, bold or even obvious. Any act of courage makes a difference, even if no one else sees it. So my act of courage was to get up at 3am yet again and take that first step. Every step is an act of courage in facing my fears. With my husband's inspirational blog "Defining success" running through my head, I determined yet again to make a go of another run.
My jumbled thoughts usually come together when I run, as if all the jostling tumbles them into place. I suddenly remembered an incident from my childhood. My father, not knowing that I was sitting within earshot, leaned over to my mother and asked "Wouldn't life be easier if we didn't have the boys?!" (Referring to my two youngest brothers with muscular dystrophy.) My mother angrily silenced him but his words rang in my head. I determined then to prove my value. As I run, I ponder on those words. Yes, perhaps life would have been easier without them but would it have been worth it? NO!!!!!! I think about how those words affected me for all those years. They chained me to a belief that I always needed to prove my worth, my usefulness or else be a burden. For the past few months, I have been a burden on Stephen through my fears, my tears and my inability to improve my running, made worse now through my injured calves.
I think of my brothers, Lehi and Mathoni. They certainly were a burden on our family but aren't we all?! Haven't we all, at some point been a burden on those around us? Does that lessen our worth? NO!! I'm willing to bet that if you were to ask those loved ones if they would have traded the burdens for
an easier life, most would say, "Not on your life!" Lehi and Mathoni gave me more that what I could offer them! They taught me what it was to truly love, to live life fully, no matter how short. They touched my heart when it was aching and they cheered with me when I accomplished a goal; big or small. They laughed with me, cried with me and picked me up when I felt I had no strength left. I miss them terribly! But they taught me that worth is value in and of itself. We are all worth it, no matter the burden because we are precious children of God. We don't have to prove ourselves, we just are! Like a twenty dollar bill; it doesn't matter if we're wrinkly or crispy, shiny or faded. A twenty is still worth a twenty!
Stephen's gift to me was running beside me, wanting my company more than he wanted to run by himself. Stephen's gift to me was reminding me of my worth, regardless of my efforts or abilities. And what right did I have to reject his gifts?! Once I accepted his gift, I was running with a little more happy in my step! It was a tough run but it was worth it because we were able to talk about this subject and be reminded of our enduring love for each other.
Even at 3am, the weather was mild, perfect for running! As the sun came up, so did the temperature (and the bugs!), accompanied with a delicious breeze to cool our sweat. I did pretty good for the first few hours, running on Ibuprofen and Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem. We were trying the orange-vanilla flavour but don't be fooled. It doesn't taste anything like orange or vanilla! More like watered-down cornflakes. But I wanted to say "Where have you been all my life?!" I'm sold! When the Ibuprofen ran out, the fire in my calves burned with a vengeance but I was determined to get to the end! Stephen put on When we love and that started the tears because it reminded me of why we were doing this! And that's worth it!! About three or four kilometers from home though, my calves declared mutiny and it was either walking faster than I could run or run slower than I could walk!
Yesterday, Stephen and I traveled to the Sinister 7 course for some training. Within a kilometer, I was in tears again. My calves were once again a raging inferno until the Ibuprofen kicked in. How am I going to get through this?! The hardest part is not the physical, but the emotional. When we first started running, it was a way to spend more time together, to enjoy something together that made us feel alive and deepened our bond together. But something has changed and it feels like a loved one has passed away, a chapter of my life that I can never recover. I will need some time to mourn, to find myself again or maybe discover something new...
Thank you to all those who have donated! Your simple act of generosity has not gone unnoticed and on behalf of my brothers and all those families affected by Muscular Dystrophy, THANK YOU, FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!!
And we couldn't have come this far without Rachel Chan, Fundraising and Community Development Coordinator. Her tireless efforts and guidance made our idea a reality. Thank you!
Also, thank you to Garry and Linda Sigsworth from HillCrest Mines for housing us this weekend and during the Sinister 7 weekend. They made us feel so welcome and right at home!
Thank you to all those who have supported us throughout this journey! And most of all thank you to my soul mate Stephen for your love, patience and understanding!