Today begins open registration for the Houston Marathon and half marathon. For those of you who have seen the runners out on Marathon day and thought to yourself, I would love to be one of those runners, but I can’t. I want you to take the word can’t out of your vocabulary! Because you absolutely can!
My first half marathon came in 2012 and I signed up after finishing the Dynamo 5k. I was a runner in high school but had fallen off the running wagon and needless to say after the loss of my brother, had fallen off every wagon. However, I need something peaceful in my life. Something with structure in the chaos of my grief. So in June of 2011 I found an organization called Bo’s Place, called them and asked if I could join their run for a reason team. They gladly accepted me and my training began.
I had no idea that the first steps I took on my first training run would take me everywhere I have been.
How was I supposed to train? I had run cross-country in High School but this was completely different. So I googled it. True story. Then printed off the training suggestions I found and stuck with it. It was hard. It was trying but I can tell you right now, I am as hard-headed as they get and when I decide I am going to do something, that’s it. There’s no stopping me. I woke up that January morning in 2012 nervous and scared and I felt so unprepared but I was excited. So excited I got downtown at 4:30 am! The race wouldn’t start for hours later but I was pacing. I couldn’t contain myself.
I was going to be one of the runners in the heights, coming down Allen Parkway and hear the crowd cheer and maybe it wasn’t for me, but I could pretend.
What I found as I started running into The Heights was that there is a bond all runners share. We are all out there running for something. I was running for my brother, not for time, not for a medal, but for him. As I crossed the eight mile marker, knowing that is the furthest I had ever run, I was scared, but I eliminated can’t from my mind and just kept putting one foot in front of the other, I just kept moving and before I knew it I was turning down Allen Parkway and headed, “home”. I crossed that finish line with tears in my eyes and, for me, that was the start of a whole new life in Houston.
That was the first Fundraiser I did, raising 3000 for Bo’s Place. I have worked with Run For A Reason since then and proud to say they have collectively raised over 20 million dollars. I would go on to Run for Woman Of the Year for LLS and raise over $50,000 and shave my head. I have ridden 5 BP MS150’s since. Traveled to three states and done over 12 half marathons since that January morning in 2012. That first step was not just a step toward a finish line, it was as step toward being the woman I have always wanted to be. To doing what I always wanted to do and it was by eliminating can’t from my vocabulary.
I’m never going to be the fastest. I’m not going to win the race but I am going to compete with myself every time I run. I am going to strive to be the best me that I can be every single time and when I cross that line, I know anything is possible. Because at one point I thought it was impossible and if I can do this. I CAN do anything!
So for those of you reading this thinking you can’t. Eliminate that word. Sign up to run. Take your first step. I will see you in January.