7.28.2014

#irun4 TOBY!

On March 29, 2014 I made a decision that is certain to change my life forever for the better. I signed up to get a running buddy through I Run for Michael. In a nutshell, this amazing group matches special needs kids or adults with runners who will run for them. The buddy/coach receives emotional support and the runner gets a new purpose to their runs.

I signed up for the facebook group and watched things for a couple of weeks before I officially took the plunge. What was holding me back? Two things - first, I was questioning how me running for someone in spirit could really make a difference and two, I have too much empathy for my own good. Was I ready to carry someone else through times of trouble or sorrow? Was I willing to offer prayers?

For the prayers, ABSOLUTELY! And after watching the posts on facebook and talking to a friend I realized, yes, me running for someone makes a huge difference. In does matter. It will make a difference. Okay, I'M IN! Can I carry and lift someone up? YES! It is my goal in life to motivate others and to be a source of happiness, this is my place!

The wait seemed so long. I kept track of my placement on the list each time it was posted. When I broke 2,000 I cheered. When I broke 1,000 I cheered. At 165 it was getting very real and very exciting. When I was number 10 I squealed! Darling daughter looked at me and I had tears in my eyes and she asked what was up with me. I told her I was #10! Since she has heard me ramble on about this since March she knew what I meant and cheered. Any day now, any day now I would meet my buddy!!!!!!!

From that point on I was glued to my phone in a way completely not like me. I was "stalking" the next posting of matches waiting as patiently as I could. At a pool party yesterday I even stole away to a shady corner to peak. I know...awful! But I had been waiting so long and there it was! The announcement. I HAD A BUDDY!!!!! More tears swelled in my eyes, I called darling daughter over to the side of the pool and said "Toby!", she looked at me oddly for a moment and then it sunk in, I HAD MY BUDDY, and she gave me a high five.

In less than 24 hours Toby has found a place in my heart and in my family. I love that darling daughter is as excited and has announced she too will run for Toby. Today when I did my one rest day mile she tossed in a yoga session. We crafted for Toby and she was my trusty photographer.

At the party people asked what was up. We explained it and most got it and were excited and expressed things like, "Wow! That is cool!". But in all good there is always one doubter. The one who said, "Oh, you are just virtual friends." and I let it slide and forgot it a nanosecond later. Not everyone will see things the same.

Today that comment came back and irked me another nanosecond until I thought about pen pals. In the past were pen pals referred to as "just pen pals"? Humanity has so much to offer one another and I love that I, like many, choose to go beyond what is right in front of us and to extend our love and caring further. I am honored and blessed to run for Toby. His family has given me a gift of sharing their son and life with me. I will give them my 110% each and every day because I truly feel that is what I am supposed to do. Our families have been perfectly matched by higher forces and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

Who do you run for?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I got my buddy yesterday!
Daily Affirmation: I do not let fake barriers hold me back.

13 comments:

  1. Congratulations! I've heard such wonderful things about this program. (Guess that's why the waitlist is so long. LOL)

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  2. I'm excited for you and think this is wonderful!!! Can't wait to hear more about it.

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  3. I run 4 Bryce :) I was very lucky, I discovered the page last summer and waited less than 2 weeks for my match! we celebrated our anniversary a couple weeks ago! You will love it, so rewarding and motivating!

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  4. How interesting to find out how you got started with this project. I am glad it brings up such fullfilment.

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    1. Thanks Elle and yes, sometimes it is nice to go back and remind myself and others of why I run for Toby.

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  5. Oh wow this is a perfect program. I was at the BRF a few weeks ago and they were pushing children in strollers and I wonder if it were tied to this program. I can't imagine running a 1/2 pushing a stroller. I hope you continue to post about this so we can learn more.

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    1. The group you saw could have been Ainsley's Angels, who I Run for Michael just partnered with!

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  6. Wow! This is awesome Erica. I had never heard of this group before but think that it is fantastic to be able to connect with someone who cannot run and to share your miles and your journey with them.

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    1. It has touched me in ways I would have never imagined! In just over 100 days of running for Toby I can't think of how I couldn't dedicate my runs for him! It is a wonderful learning lesson for my daughter too.

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  7. This sounds great! Keep us updated to cheer you on! :)

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  8. What an awesome awesome reason to run and such an amazing program!

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    1. I truly am blessed to be part of the program and so thankful I learned about it. :)

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