(Today’s guest post is by one of our incredible friends and supporters of Sixty Feet, Stacey Herndon.)
I run for me. I was never a runner growing up. It just wasn’t for me. Running just seemed so simple and isolating. I loved to play team sports. It was a time to be with my friends and classmates on a court or field and work together to achieve a common goal. The constant need to work together and strategize a way to win a game made the day’s strains go away for a little while.
Once I had job, children, and a husband in grad school, working together and strategizing no longer lasted just 4 quarters; it was my life. Sometimes in my day I needed simple, I needed to be isolated, so I began running. Pushing my kids in a stroller with my earphones in and the sun on my back through a quiet trail was the way I found the break I needed to make it through my day. A long run on a Saturday by myself was how I came back to my family refreshed and recharged. Every race I signed up to do was a way to push myself to do more than I thought I could the time before.
I run for my kids. After a few years of riding her bike along with me, my oldest girl decided to put on her running shoes as well. It may have slowed my pace a little, but it gives us time to talk just the two of us and teaches her how to work towards a goal she has set. Now each year all 5 of us will run at least one race together. High fiving your 8 year old, putting a medal over your 4 year old’s neck and hugging your 3 year old as she crosses the finish line will keep a smile on your face all day.
A few months ago my husband came to me asking what kind of race I would like to run next. I had planned to do my usual, maybe a 5K, maybe get crazy and do a mud-run, but he had a different idea. He suggested I try for what I thought would be an impossible goal for me, one that could teach our girls that anything is possible if you work hard and pray to the Lord for strength. I picked a half-marathon.
A few weeks into my training I had to do a 6.5 mile run. It was my longest distance to date. I was so nervous. After 3 miles of running, I felt like I couldn’t go any farther, I just didn’t have it in me. I fought for another mile, then 2, and finally realized I was so close to finishing it would be silly to stop. I finished my run but decided it was truly impossible for me to run any farther, especially 13.1 miles. I walked inside defeated and I see my 4 year old. I noticed she had changed her shirt to the one she got from our last race. I asked her why and she explained, “I want to be a runner like my mommy!”
I run for His kids. I will run 13.1 miles. Not just for me. Not just for my 3 little girls. I will be running with the Sixtyfeet team. Every step I take is because I can run for the imprisoned children of Uganda. My efforts will help provide clean water, food, medical care, and a bed for these kids. I run “to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed. Psalm 10:18