This week I missed 5 days of training in a row due a to combination of factors – work, being tired, Run4Rare fundraising, kids waking up in the night, and just not feeling like getting up early. I don’t like missing training days and I find that each day I miss makes it harder to get back on track again. One thing that helps me keep it all in perspective though is to step back and remember how lucky I am to running at all. Especially, that I am still running fast at age 41.
Some people listen to music while they run. I actually find that boring. My thing is audiobooks. A single audiobook can last weeks and motivate me to run more so I can get to the next chapter. I try not to cheat by listening during my commute :). Lately, I’ve been listening to inspiring and hopeful stories of children surviving and prevailing through war, refugee camps and hopeless situations. I highly recommend these books:
1. I Am Malala – autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl in Pakistan who was shot in the face by the Taliban and survived.
2. The Breadwinner – a fictional story of a 10-year old girl in war-torn Afghanistan who dresses as a boy to be able to work and bring home money to her family.
3. Running for My Life – autobiography of Lopez Lomong, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who made his way from Sudanese refugee camp to become an Olympic runner for the USA.
4. Running to Overcome – autobiography of American marathon hero Meb Keflezighi,born in Eritrea and left as a refugee, who went on to win the 2014 Boston marathon and just qualified for the USA Olympic team again today.
As I run, I think about these people living out unimaginable circumstances. I think about our patient partners searching for diagnoses, treatment, hope, and community. Then I think about myself and how lucky I am to be running right now, to have a good job, and to live in a stable (though not perfect) country. And I think about how I should train hard, raise lots of money for NORD, and try to have a positive impact in the world.
That said, I am proud to have raised over $1,500 so far in memory of my brave patient partner, Grace Webster. The story of her journey with Hypothalamic Hamartomas (HH) can be found here.
That’s all for now.