Happy New Year!
I actually started writing this letter after the 2013 Boston marathon and left it to rest. After reading it again, I realize it was written from a place of anger and confusion. I decided not to use my original and begin again. New beginnings. Or maybe it’s old beginnings with a fresh prospective, either way here I am.
As the saying goes, “Third time’s a charm.” Well, I am hoping it will be.
I ran my first Boston marathon in April of 2012. We had such a fair weathered training season I had a feeling race day might not be in our favor. That feeling was correct, coming by the way of heat. A whopping 92 degrees worth of heat!! There were many emails from the Boston Athletic Association telling me speed kills, be sure to hydrate but don’t over hydrate and if I’ve never run a marathon before consider deferring. I ran. I finished. And immediately decided I wanted to run again for a “normal” experience. There was no way Mother Nature would throw another 90 plus degree day at us again.
I was correct. She gave us a beautiful day but two sad souls had something else in mind. They took it upon themselves to take the glory from thousands of runners and turn a day of triumph into a day of fear. They did just that. Once again, I knew I had to run again.
Which brings me to today. I am training for the 2014 Boston marathon. There are three reasons I am running. First, to show the sad souls that dedication, pride and love trump fear…always. Second, to support this city. I am Boston strong! Most importantly, and why I’ve always run, to raise awareness about stroke. Over the past three years I’ve run various races for Tedy’s Team and The American Heart Association. When I started running for Tedy’s Team stroke was the third leading cause of death in the United States it has since dropped to number four. That being said, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds which means there is still work to be done. Please learn the warning signs we never know when we will need them.
Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?
Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
Time to call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared.
I’m asking for your support through your good thoughts and a generous donation to the American Stroke Association. I am especially proud to run on behalf of those I know personally and the many I do not who have had a stroke and desperately need our help. I’ll do all the hard work and you can run with me in spirit.
Donations can be made by clicking this link:
Lots of love and thank you for your support,
P.S. Your tax-deductible contribution, sent as soon as possible, is greatly appreciated! Every dollar makes a difference toward stroke research and education. If your company has a matching gift program, please send me the matching gift form along with your check – and potentially double your donation!