feel the love...

I remember standing at the finish line of Zak’s first marathon, Craig and I waited in great anticipation and awe at the thousands of runners who came through to the end.  Families and friends cheering and crying and holding signs as if the runner coming through was THE winner of the race.  Hours of running with many faces struggling and limping through brought tears to our eyes.  We felt inspired by the courage and felt the sacrifice of the training as we knew of the countless hours Zak had ran to get to that place.  In one moment, Craig and I looked at each-other and said “wouldn’t it be awesome to be part of this, but on the other side of the fence?”  A couple months after the marathon, Brother Bear began running with us in the woods.

My heart exploded with pride as I got a facebook email announcing that Craig had signed up for the Disney marathon and was running in honor of our cousin Shane DeBeer. (link to donation page) Here is a quote from the page “On 7/18/2010 my cousin Shane De Beer lost his wife Monica, 4 year old son Rogan and 2 yr old daughter Milla in a tragic house fire. I am running the marathon in their honor. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about Shane and his unbearable loss. I hope to be able to make some kind of small difference in his life with my pledge, I hope you will join me in this.”

Dr. Joe Vigil has more than five decades of coaching elite track and field athletes and has become among the most venerable figures in the sport, a sought-after running coach and speaker concerning all matters of distance running states in the book: BORN TO RUN… “there is some kind of connection with the capacity to love and the capacity to love running.  The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you got, being patient and forgiving and undemanding. We wouldn’t live without love; we wouldn’t have survived without running; maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.”  And what better way to grow your love than by giving it away….for as Kahlil Gibran says:“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

As we chase pavements and concrete roads with a physical body that is tested with each mile – it is our spirit that keeps pushing us on.  Ghandi once said that one of the best ways to lose yourself is in the service of others.  It is the heart, mind and soul that pulsates energy and love…shouldn’t it be everyones obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what we take out of it?  So much expectation and wanting and needing from everyone else…. let’s practice the simple selfless act of giving….giving of our time, giving kindness and giving love!  When you run for a cause, you are connected to the life of others – it demands passion and dedication and focus!  Fill your soul with love for mankind by running through the physical pain to a place where your spirit pushes you through.  Humble your self by making the run more than just about your own sacrifices and misfortunes – fill your heart and soul with love and hope and gratitude for the act of your body running.  It is through the struggle of a training program and exhaustion of a race that the pain seems small in comparison to the challenges faced by those fighting illnesses, those mourning the loss of family or friends, or those crippled by disease.  It is when our hearts grow with love that the big picture shines through and in some small way – we make the world a better place.

Make it personal.  Connect to the pain.  Feel the love. Hey, as Vigil hypothesized maybe getting better at love could make you better at running?

If you would like to run for a cause and create your own fundraising campaign here are some links.

Choose your own cause/varying causes:

*  www.activegiving.com

Specific causes

Nikki Blantonrunning