“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” 2020. What the DICKENS is happening?? Well, despite the obvious cloud that looms over our world right now, there are still beams of light breaking through. And during one of those instances, I decided I would run the 2021 full marathon.
Last training sesh, I made it to 20 miles... my kids were still in school in person... my mom in a skilled nursing home... my toilet paper supply, adequate... my attitude was half hearted. Today... my kids learn from home... my mom is home... my toilet paper supply is still adequate, but limit the sheets kids!... my attitude is whole hearted, not all of the time, but mostly... I was crushed when the marathon was cancelled. I used a knee injury to justify downgrading to the virtual half marathon. I tried to keep running, but it was hard. I had to remind myself why I ran. But in the end, running was a comforting companion. A reliable constant that movement is living and running is breathing. Also, I'll add that human connection and emotional understanding are essential foods for well being and a strong sense of belonging in this complex world.
I am running for the Miracle League of the South Hills, an organization that understands the importance of cultivating an inclusive environment for individuals and families who live the spectrum of physical, emotional and mental volatility every day. For an hour, families can witness their children experience support and success, without judgement or pressure. Children and young adults get to move, in any way they are able, around the bases to home plate, often accompanied by a buddy, moving alongside together. I know all of this because my daughter plays in the Miracle League and because I know what it feels like to walk into that stadium to watch her move. This is the community I need.. my daughter needs... my family needs... and the world benefits from.
If 2020 has taught me anything... it's that in darkness and light, in hope and in despair, in the best and worst of times... we need each other and we need to keep moving in any way we can.
Donate to help Jess raise money for 2021 DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon Weekend’s fundraising campaign.
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