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My rediscovery of running began in 2007 when I ran my first half marathon in Coeur d'Alene. After a successful finish, I began to think of running the full marathon the following year. I began training and in 2008, I registered for the CdA Marathon. I had been talking with my mother about running the Race for the Cure with her, as she was a breast cancer survivor. She had beat cancer, and she had done several Susan G. Komen Races in Montana. Our schedules always seemed to conflict so I wasn't able to get back to Montana to do the race with her. I told her of my plans to run a marathon, 26.2 miles. She was supportive but being the caring mother she was, she also didn't want me to do it. So much that I could not convince her to come watch me in my first marathon. She said she could not stand to see me put my body through such a race. She was excited to see that I finished the CdA marathon and decided to come watch that year as I ran the Missoula Marathon. It was not my best race, however, having my mom, dad and brother there to support me was amazing! Mom was so excited as they followed me around the course and to have her there at the finish was very special. At the time I didn't know how special it would be. In September 2008, we walked our first Race for the Cure in Coeur d'Alene. I looked forward to many more races with her. Sadly, my mother passed away 5 months later, of an apparent suicide. Her death left a void in my life that I have struggled to regain. In her passing, I leaned on my faith in God to get me through some of the darkest days of my life. She was a devout Catholic and her faith in God was evident. She was always a very caring and understanding person. I am blessed still to hear the stories people tell of how she affected their lives as well. She left behind a special bible verse that I've found in several places since her death:
Isaiah 41:10 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." It is one that I carry with me at all times.
When I decided to take on the Ironman challenge, I knew that I would have to use it to help others, as a way to continue to give as my mother did. The other day I was looking through some of my mom's books. In one of them I found a page from a calendar bookmarking one of the pages. It was a reminder to me of why I am doing this:
Matthew 25:40b "Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." It continues: "My offering to God: I will help feed a homeless person who goes unnoticed by the world."
My Ironman challenge is not only for me to achieve my goals, it is to carry out her work for Him as well. She will be racing with me that day and everyday as I train for this. Together, we will achieve not only our goal of finishing the Ironman, but our goal to raise money and awareness for St. Vincent de Paul and to help those in need.
This one is for you, Mom.
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Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
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