For those of you who are Dixie Chicks fans, the title is for you. For those of you who have boycotted them ever since their harsh remarks against Pres. George W. Bush, my apologies. Fortunately for you, this blog isn't about them, it's about running. This past weekend I did something a little absurd, I decided to sign myself up for a marathon. Right now, my sanity is probably being questioned by many of you and I am questioning it as well, so you're in good company. Most of my friends' responses have been "Why not just stick with the half, you know you can do that?" or "You're crazy. There's only one good reason to run that far, and that's because someone is chasing you." The last one was actually a direct quote from this crazy fella. Don't you love honesty from close friends? haha. Either way, I'm trying to run a marathon and although it seems crazy to try to train in only 10 weeks, I really want to give it my best.
I was planning on running only the half, but I was browsing the Samaritan's Purse website and something caught my eye (confession, I might kind of stalk their website and lust after their international job openings and think... "one day, when I'm finally done with school..." I digress...). Anyways, I was browsing the website and I saw that you could help raise money by becoming a part of Team Samaritans Purse. I immediately thought about the upcoming race and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. So I did. I joined the team and am now trying to raise $1000 for SP's Be the Virus campaign (a Christian's response to the HIV/Aids crisis). You seriously need to check out what Samaritan's Purse is doing. They are awesome and I'm really excited about it.
So why the whole 26.2 miles??
Well, I have already done a half marathon this past Spring and if I'm raising money for a cause, I want this to be challenging on my end. I would rather try the whole marathon and fail, than run the half and succeed without much effort (not that half marathon doesn't take effort, I just already have done one). I don't have the funds right now to give a significant amount away, but I can run and ask others to be a part of my team. 26.2 is going to be a killer on my end and if I'm asking others to sacrifice financially, I'd like to make a significant sacrifice too. Also, I want the training to serve as a constant reminder of people less fortunate than me. Not that everyday when I run I'm going to be meditating on that thought, but so often I go through the day stuck in my own little world, worrying about my middle-class-white-girl issues. Training for a cause will force me to pray more for the people that I'm raising money for. To put it harshly yet honestly, forgetting about them won't be nearly as easy.
Why feel the need to run for a cause?
I talk too much. This will not come as a surprise to most of you. The thing is, sometimes I feel like I talk a lot about wanting to make a difference, but in reality I am always looking to the future to take action. For example, I'm currently a graduate student getting my MA in Intercultural Studies. Upon graduation I plan on hopefully going overseas. I tell myself on a consistent basis that in order to be fully able to live a lifestyle that exemplifies Christ's love for those who are less fortunate, I'll have to wait until after graduate school. I convince myself with great logical reasons of why I'm unable to at this present moment. 1. I'm a full-time grad student. 2. I have a job. 3. I'm involved in my church. 4. I'm involved in the girls in my small group's life. The list sadly continues, but I'll spare you. The point is right now, I convince myself that I don't have time and that it's not wise for me to up and quit school, work, church, life, and go overseas. There is some truth in that, I shouldn't up and quit school/life, but at the same time while waiting I cannot allow myself to willingly choose to be an inactive voice. As SP's Be the Virus homepage says, "Every action, no matter how small, can bring about change." This marathon is my extremely small contribution to help bring about change.
So What's the Deal?
I'm going to try my best to run a whole stinkin' marathon and am going to get ready for it in 10 weeks. If I fail, I fail. But regardless, I'm at least going to run a half. I'm going to shoot for the moon, and if I miss then I'll land at the finish line of the half marathon. But I think I will succeed. With a little dedication, determination, and self-discipline I think this goal is attainable. Perhaps my body will revolt, but I'm praying not.
I'm running this to help bring about awareness to the HIV/Aids crisis as well as provide a financial gift to an organization that is bringing about hope and change to a people group that so desperately needs it. Samaritan's Purse says this about their response, "We see HIV as more than a disease - it is an unprecedented opportunity to show Christlike love to a world in need." I love that quote and am viewing this marathon as my opportunity to show Christlike love to a world in need. No, I'm not on the field, but the $1000 that will hopefully be raised will enable others to meet needs that I cannot meet right now.
So What Can YOU Do?
I'm asking my family, friends, and complete strangers to join me in this endeavor. To give or find out more, you can click HERE . If you can't give, I'm asking you to help spread the news by word of mouth/facebook/twitter/whateverothercrazysocialnetworkingsiteyoumightuse. And I'm also asking that you pray that I can actually do this and that I don't die in the process of training. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.
To my family and friends, thanks in advance for always being an awesome support group for my crazy antics. You rock.
(This post was originally posted on my Vida la Vida blog in 2009)