It’s March now and I’m starting to get into the fundraising frame of mind again. This will be my 5th year of raising money for TeamFox and my 3rd doing so through my running. I was thinking today about the fact that I’ve been raising money by running marathons for over 2 years now and I have no plans to stop. After my NYC marathon last year, I initially thought that was going to be my last marathon, but a few weeks later and my memory of the pain started to fade while the memory of just how amazing that day is began to come through loud and clear. So in January I asked again for TeamFox to do me the honor of sponsoring me in my 26.2 mile trek through NYC for the 3rd year in a row.
Now I have to get myself psyched up for all the training. I’m already ahead of where I was physically last year since I’m training for my half in April, but now I have to start the mental game. It is not always easy to stay focused on training, especially when you’d rather stay in bed or watch Superheroes on TV with your daughters all Sunday morning long, but it is necessary. If I don’t train, I won’t fulfill my commitment to the Foundation, to all of you and, most important, to me.
I also have to stay focused on raising the money I’ve committed to TeamFox. Sometimes that can be trying too, but more often than not the fundraising often fuels my training. I’ve found fundraising for my favorite cause to be an extremely uplifting experience. I get new surprises through donations and kind words each month that I focus on it and all those kind acts of support push me to keep going and to reach further towards my goals.
To get myself into the right frame of mind, I’ve been thinking about moments that moved me and made me give just a little extra effort. I’ve got many of those moments now so my mental review is quite inspiring. My favorite moment was at around mile 22 in last year’s marathon. By mile 22 my legs felt like they were being stabbed by mini knives with each step I took and I was looking ahead to short distances, like the next telephone pole to keep me going. My sane mind (if I have one) was screaming at me to stop and I was definitely not seeing the meaning behind what I was doing at that moment. Thank God I still had my friend, Alison, next to me because I wanted to quit.
Luckily, the Universe was about to offer me some much needed help from the crowd of spectators. I had been smart enough to write my name on the front of my shirt and the words, “For Mom” on the back. One very kind spectator yelled out as I passed, “Keep going Karen. You can do it. It’s for Mom!” Those words rang in my ears and got me to work to pick up my legs just a little higher and to remind myself that each step was getting the world closer to a cure. I didn’t see who yelled out those motivational words as I’d already passed and I’m sure I’ll never meet him. In fact he probably has no recollection of those particular words as I’m sure he cheered for many people that day, but I will never forget them.
If you ever get the chance to watch a marathon, or half marathon or any other race make sure to cheer for those participating as you never know who you are helping to take one more step forward. Your motivation may just stick with that person for a lifetime.