Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Run, Mama Run...

Within days of losing Leah, my wonderful mom had an idea that we should sign up for the Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf race. A simple 6 mile race...simple for her because she is a crazy marathon running woman!! For me this was a near impossible fete. We signed up anyways, and I marked the date on my calendar. I have been working out at the gym, so I knew that in a worst case scenario I could at least walk the race. The most I have ever run in my life is 3 miles. Saturday came and we ventured over to Santa Cruz for a beautiful weekend with my parents. They ever so kindly booked a great family room one block from the Boardwalk for us all to stay in. Of course our girls were in HEAVEN because they love taking trips with grandma and papa. We spent Saturday venturing around Santa Cruz, the beach, boardwalk, and wharf.

Sunday morning I awoke early, nervous about the adventure that lay ahead. My mom was our running because she is just crazy enough to obsess over her daily mileage!! In her amazing desire to support me she decided that she would run 13 miles BEFORE the race and then run/walk the race at my pace. After she returned from her morning run we ventured down to the race. WOW, what a scene! 15,000 people crammed in one area, readying themselves for a 6 mile race. We were so thankful that our hotel was a block away because the lines for the 30 porta potties were out of this world!! When the gun was fired, and the race began, we were all walking and slowly jogging in a cattle car stampede fashion. Within a quarter of a mile there began to be a little more room to spread out. I paced myself, nervous of tiring to quickly. As we rounded the first big bend and began to climb the big hill that lay ahead we encountered our first band. Every 1/2 mile of the race is celebrated by a band....serenading us on our journey. The morning was foggy and cool, and standing on the grassy hill was a Scottish bag-piping band. Our first thoughts were of grandpa, my mom's dad who passed away in January. I immediately thought of him, and moments later my mom spoke the words playing in my head. The memories of grandpa. It was at that moment that I felt my first push towards success. I was immediately reminded that I was not running alone. I was running with those I have loved and lost. I thought about God's plan for my family...about why Leah's life ended before she took her first breath. I truly believe that God has a great and awesome plan for my sweet baby and our family. As I neared mile 5, STILL RUNNING, it finally dawned on me...maybe this is God's plan for me. Maybe he wants me to become healthy and whole. To find a passion, a way to stay fit, a way to stay healthy, a way to heal. Each step of my 6 mile journey was in honor of my baby. As my body began to tire, my muscle growing weaker, my endurance fading, I drew strength in the knowledge that God was there cheering me on, showing me that my baby Leah Faith was resting safely in His Son's arms. As I crossed the finish line I felt as though I had climbed Mount Everest! As my mom put her arm around me, I knew at that moment that God does all things for the good. It still hurts, still sucks, still breaks my heart....but I know that I am not running this race alone. I am blessed to have an amazing network of friends and family who love me and lift me up when I am feeling down...and I have the most amazing family in heaven cheering me on...each step of the way!! Thanks mom for being my running partner, during the race and in my life on a daily basis. I am so blessed to have a mom that is not only my mommy...but also my best friend. I love you so very much!!

1 comment:

Sue said...

Melissa - you did great on the run. We ran the last 2 miles at our fastest pace. I expected to walk some because you hadn't really trained enough to do 6 miles, but you were determined to run the entire thing. You never complained, although I knew you were probably getting sore. I am proud of you. Love mom