I remember being in PE class and dreading Friday. That was the day we had to run an entire mile! I really disliked running and I was painfully slow, which made it that much worse. Slow = more time running.
Then I graduated, got married and started a family. No more running right? While expecting our first son, I gained a lot of extra weight. I was young so I didn't expect it to be difficult to lose the extra after giving birth. Man was I wrong! I had developed some really bad eating habits and combine that with no regular exercise; I couldn't lose a single pound. I tried halfheartedly to jog in a failed attempt to lose weight. Still really hated to do it and to make matters worse we lived in a small college town. How embarrassing to be out in my over-sized sweats and t-shirts jogging ever so slowly. It didn't work and to be honest I didn't really give it much of a chance.
Skip ahead a few more years…now I had three little boys and some better eating habits but still not enough energy to keep up with them! Three toddlers made it hard to get out and exercise so we got a treadmill. It was one with a CD player and came with some preprogrammed routines. I started with just walking. Slowly but surely it turned into walking with some short jogging. Before I knew it I was running more then I was walking!
At this same time my father in law, Jack was into running. He was a really big encouragement to me and the reason I did my first official race. Well that my friends was the beginning of the end, so to speak. I participated in several “short” races and even a recreational triathlon (decided to stick with just running after that one J). Somehow I had fallen in love with running!
For years I had thought about doing a marathon but just didn't have the courage. So, after our first stint in Liberia I came home and a month before the Bellingham Bay Marathon I took the leap and signed up, it only took me a short 10 years to muster the courage! I had been doing lots of running but didn't really train for it. It was a great experience (although painful) and left me feeling like I could do better. As soon as they opened up registration for the next year’s race I signed up. Well, God had other plans and we found ourselves once again packing in a hurry and heading back to Liberia! I decided it was a bit too long and expensive of a commute to fly home to run.
I got my chance to try again back in August. True to form, I decided at the last minute to sign up. I wasn't sure after spending 5 weeks back home, if I would be up for a marathon. I also was a little nervous to run on the streets of Monrovia. But I just couldn't help myself; I knew I could improve on my time. Despite starting in the dark, rain, and some pretty good hills I wasn't very prepared for, I finished my second marathon and improved my time! The best part was I really felt good when I finished, so much better than my first one.
Running has become more than just a way to manage my weight. As my family has grown it has become my alone time, time to talk to God and enjoy his creation. Now I have the amazing opportunity to combine my love of running with the reason we are in Liberia. Being a mother of six limits my time to volunteer and feel part of the SP team. My desire to serve God and contribute to our team here is coming together in the London Marathon. So, over the next several months I will be training (for a change) and raising money, money that will go to SP Liberia and a couple of projects here. I am so excited to get to raise money for the hospital project! 50% of all the money we (Joni, Kendell and I) raise will go toward the hospital. It is my hope and dream that this will be something big. Please pray along with me that God will be glorified!
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Team SP Liberia:
Joni, Kendell and I just before a long run.
|Not the best running weather!|
|Still smiling about mid point.|
|Nearing the end!|