I’m Getting Muddy for Team GSFApril 15, 2012 by Victoria Strong
On Saturday we all ran in the Chardonnay Run in Santa Barbara -- a practice race for the big Team GSF Santa Barbara International Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay race this November. (You should join us!)
Gwendolyn and I did the 5K and Bill ran the full 10 miles. Gramma, Aunt Kristen, and many of our wonderful friends were there running with us too. It felt good. Really good because Gwendolyn was happy. She's always happy when she's "running" and we want nothing more than to see her living the life she wants.
It was an emotional experience though. Bill pushed Gwendolyn in the beginning but then when the course diverted he gave us quick smooches and high fives and we switched. And, for the first time, I ran Gwendolyn back... and then over the finish line. I cried.
You see it has been a bit of a rough time lately. Nothing major, major. And nothing doctors can do anything about. But SMA is progressing in Gwendolyn. And that fact is frankly something no parent should ever have to face. We have always known SMA is degenerative, but to helplessly watch the degeneration take place is really, really hard -- torture. And we would do anything to change this from being true.
For us it is impossible to do nothing. And so we have done and continue to do things we never thought we'd do -- like running. Like running with Gwendolyn. Like training for a marathon (Bill) and half marathon (me). And like running in the Survivor Mud Run with other SMA moms. Yep, that is what is "next" -- and it is this coming Saturday.
Shortly after the 2011 Team GSF Santa Barbara race, my friend Meri, mom to sweet Aaron (SMA Type 1) felt all kinds of motivated and got Jennifer, mom to G's BFF Hayden (SMA Type 1) and me all kinds of motivated to run with her in this crazy military boot camp inspired mud race. Crazy. None of us has ever done anything like this. None of us are really that in love with mud. But... we are all warriors -- a quiet but ferociously brave kind. SMA creates a battlefield and the things we all have to face every day are our combat. We rarely crumble (at least not in front of our children) because our courageous little soldiers look to us to be at least as brave as they are. And they are the bravest of all.
Jennifer put it best: "My daughter, Hayden, was born a survivor. She overcomes the obstacles and difficulties SMA has put before her daily. So for me to put one foot in front of the other and get drenched in some mud; it all pales in comparison to her tenacity to live and love life."
I love this because it is true. Pushing ourselves is the least we can do. And so as part of training for this November's Team GSF Santa Barbara International Marathon, Half Marathon, and Relay (which Bill, Gwendolyn, and I are running together), we are testing ourselves and pushing ourselves to prepare for it. Jennifer will be running for Team GSF in the SBIM too. As will a number of people impacted by SMA. As will many others who want to stand beside these sweet warriors -- because they deserve an army on their side. And collectively we are aiming to once again raise $50,000 for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Yep, $50,000! With your help, we can do it.
So... I'm asking you to help support my mud race to begin reaching for that goal. I'm asking you to join Team GSF, to raise much needed funding as you run, bike, swim, move your body so one day they can move theirs. I'm asking you to get others involved because we want to change this brutal disease and help those fighting through it now.
Donate to support me in the Survivor Mud Run HERE.
NEVER GIVE UP.