One year ago I began the Chicago Marathon, but never saw the finish line. I vowed to make that day “not my ending” and I write to you today from cloudy Chicago to make good on that promise. In 15 short hours I’ll be standing once again at the starting line of the Chicago Marathon to once again pursue my dream.
Although I’ve grown to become proud of last year’s race, I wasn’t ready to give up on this deep-seated dream of mine. Not everyone has agreed with this dream of mine, so ahead of race day, I wanted to share with you why I’m trying again.
To those who have supported my fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association – I run again to use my muscles to fuel a stronger future for those with muscle disease.
To my heroes with muscle disease who I run to honor – you have taught me more than I ever thought possible about embracing disability, adapting life and setting big goals. I run again for you.
To friends and family – I run again because I’ve felt your love and support of letting me choose what’s best for my body.
To those with rare diseases – I run again to help show a bad outcome does not define your story.
To those with disabilities – I run again to help pave the way for others to believe in themselves and their abilities, even if the first try doesn’t go well.
To my MDA Team Momentum teammates, coaches and staff – I run again because of your support, coaching, encouragement and inspiration. I’m so honored to run alongside you.
To those who don’t support my decision to run again – I run again regardless, not to spite you, but because I am in control of my choices. My heart knows my limits and I’m not going to give up on a goal because others don’t believe in it.
I am starting this race with the full acknowledgement that a finish just may not be in my cards. However, this won’t stop me from giving it my absolute all to make it happen. We are never guaranteed an outcome when we train, yet we’d make it nowhere if we let that stop us.
It’s for these reasons I didn’t let my story end on that lonely curb at mile 22 last year.
I hope I run past that same curb tomorrow and smile.