This post will be a little different from the others, so bear with me.
A week before we left for our grand world adventure in 2018, I ran my first half marathon. Now I’m not a natural runner: for many years, running was a punishment for being late to practice or for losing a basketball game, leading to running being ingrained in my mind as undesirable. I’m also not a fast or pretty runner: those long, lean bodies that you see at the front of the pack? Yeah, that’s not me.
But after that first half marathon, I was hooked. Even training for a race of that distance requires months of dedication, pounding the pavement mile after mile until your body is ready for such a feat. I enjoyed that the challenge wasn’t against any other individual, but rather was against only myself.
I completed my second half marathon 2 weeks ago. After training specifically to increase my pace and stamina, I was able to set a significant PR. While I was stoked about this achievement, it was beginning to feel too selfish, too self-centered for my liking.
I am running my first marathon in just 6 short weeks to end HIV/AIDS. Lifelong is a nonprofit in Western Washington that has worked for over three decades to reach those struggling with HIV/AIDS, providing them with housing, food and medical assistance that would have required breaking significant barriers otherwise. Additionally, they are now focused on reaching the last 10% of those who are undiagnosed and untreated, through outreach, prophylactic medication and education.
The HIV/AIDS battle may no longer be front page, but the war is still being waged out on the front lines and generous donations from family and friends goes such a long ways towards ending this horrific disease and reaching zero (zero new cases, zero deaths, zero transmissions).
I am so incredibly lucky and thankful to have a healthy, strong body that can attempt to run 26.2 miles. Through no fault of their own, others are not so lucky. I run for them.
If you are so inclined, the link to my fundraising page is here:
Thanks to my family and friends who have already gotten us to 40% of the way there! You guys rock!
If you have questions about Lifelong and/or the work they do in our community, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Now, let’s get to work, to end HIV/AIDS (and run 26.2 miles while we’re at it).