If you have been around our family for even a minute, you’ve probably heard some story that involves 🏃🏻♂️running. We all love to hit the pavement or the trails. No one else does the crazy distances that Ken does, but we enjoy some miles.
I was 👟running the half-marathon of the Joplin Memorial Run a few years ago. I felt ready on race day. My knee decided otherwise between miles seven and eight. In case you’re wondering, a half-marathon is 13.1 miles. Yeah- I still had some 🕓time left in that race. I was determined to finish on my own despite the race volunteers in golf carts who asked repeatedly if I needed a ride.😬 I walked. I jogged. I stopped in every medical tent to have someone work over that knee. I pulled out my 📱cell phone to let my family know that it was going to be longer than expected and to have ice ready. With about two miles left, a pacer found me struggling. 🙌She hopped up next to me with encouraging words- telling me that I could finish. That we were going to do this together. That she would stick with me to the end. And, she did just that- until a blonde little girl came running up to us. My pacer asked, “Is this your mom?” Angelina shook her head yes, and said, “I’ll run in with her.” 😍We crossed the finish line together, and a volunteer handed me the 🏅medal. Ken was waiting with an 🧊ice bag and a solid shoulder to lean on. Zane had a 🪑chair ready for me.
Was it tough to finish? Absolutely! You know what? I was more proud of crossing that finish line than any other. 🥰Even though my knee was swollen and painful for days afterward, it was worth it. 👍🏻
I went into that race feeling like I was well trained. The knee blowout was utterly unexpected and unwanted. I tried to push through the pain at first- thinking it would work itself out as I ran. Finally, I had to accept that I wouldn’t finish 🙁anywhere close to my goal time, but I still wanted to finish on my terms. 💪🏻Race crew folks who offered rides to the finish did so out of compassion. I’m sure there was a look of pain on my face. However, they missed the look of determination in my eyes. I didn’t need a sympathetic ride. ❌I needed someone, like the pacer and my daughter, with encouragement. ✅Someone to run alongside me. ✅
Sometimes, we need someone to run with us- even for part of the race. Feeling supported is huge- it can make all the difference in reaching goals or not. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be scared to offer help. What if…we run together? You never know when someone needs a pacer. 💖