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Sunday, November 13, 2011

holoblomo day 13: good vibes

note: “holoblomo” stands for Horribly Local Blogging Month, my response to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that happens every November. The NaNoWriMo challenge asks writers to compose 50,000 words in a month; I chose 10,000 as my goal. Enjoy.

So here we are.
A week ago, tens of thousands of runners ran the New York City Marathon... as I sat on my arse and wrote. 
Today, my sister will run the Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon/5K. Maybe I’ll do some laundry.
It’s impressive to me when anyone runs. It’s more impressive to me when someone runs despite major health issues that often prevent them from running. It’s still even more impressive when someone runs despite those major health issues in order to raise money for worthy causes.
Well, that’s my sister.

My doing laundry doesn’t help anyone but me. Sure, I suppose that humanity is also served... at least, the humanity within a 5-foot radius of me... but it’s hardly the same.
She’s been running since 2004, and has run many races of varying lengths, some for charity, some not. She’s had more setbacks than anyone deserves, but still she runs. And despite spending far too many hours with (and dollars on) physical therapists in recent months, she’s hell-bound to run today, because this particular race is special.
Her run today is for Chris Campbell, one of the 30 Navy SEALs killed in the August helicopter crash in Afghanistan. My sister went to high school with Chris, and while she didn’t know him well, she knew many of his buddies well. 
But she’s not just running for his memory. One of Chris’ wishes was that if he were killed in the line of duty, he would want donations to be made in his name to Wounded Warrior Project. So my sister decided that she’d also raise $3,000. Now. When everyone is out of work and struggling to get by. Yeah. (She’s a little crazy, in a good way.)
When she sets out to do something, she does it all the way. She didn’t just put the word out on Facebook and her blog... she sent letters to 150 people all over the country (including her landlord), and when nearly 70 of them responded with donations tiny to generous, she sent hand-written thank you’s to every single one of them... to tide them over until she sends them another thank you later this week, one that recaps today’s events and will no doubt include a pre-race photo of herself, covered in ribbons that feature the names of every single donor. That is a lot of ribbon, a lot of stamps, and a lot of carpal tunnel stress on top of a lot of training.
She’s met her ambitious fundraising goal, but she’s still frustrated by the fact fact that she’s not sure she’ll be physically able to run the half-marathon. She’s afraid she’ll have to settle for running the 5K. 
So I’m sending her good vibes today as I fluff and fold, vibes of strength that I hope will either get her through the half, and/or vibes of sanity that I hope will convince her that running the shorter race is not a defeat.
Feel free to vibe along, if you wish.
And that’s 5219 words.
Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

POSTSCRIPT: She finished the half. I am so proud of her.

1 comment:

  1. Woo! That's amazing. Massive congrats to her and thanks to her supporters, too :)