I’ve Been Inspired. I’m running the Santa Barbara Half Marathon for theGSF—and so is Gwendolyn!January 16, 2012 by Victoria Strong
I'm not a runner. NOT a runner. I was the lame girl who always had an excuse during the "Mile Day" in school. In college I learned to stop hating it and used to jog through my college campus or when I was home I'd run/walk the LA canyons and parks with my dad -- back in the days when I had energy to spare. But that was when I was 21 (a year or two ago, Ha!), in the best shape of my life, and even then the furthest I ever ran was about 5 miles. But, I've been inspired.
Over the last four years I have been surrounded by selfless people doing amazing things and I've been inspired.
I've been moved by non-runners who during their darkest hours have mustered up the courage to take on something new... to do something to help end SMA -- like Dorothy Shuler and Heather Simmons. Like their friends and family who joined them. They inspire me.
I'm reminded that anything is possible when athletes who have already accomplished the remarkable decide to challenge themselves even further to help theGSF -- like Stephen Taylor, Lauren Lundy O'Connor, and Mike Paskin. They inspire me. Like all those who have been part of Team GSF over the years. Like all those in this video. They inspire me.
And last November our family and dozens of friends ran the relay, the half and the full marathon in Santa Barbara -- for us, for SMA, and to help change it. All of them have stories. All of them made sacrifices. And they did it with such enthusiasm and positivity (raising over $50,000 in the process!) that inspiration was overflowing.
And, of course, when I have doubted that I could do this, (and I've made a million excuses why I can't), I just think of this guy. He gets it like no one else. He is IN my shoes. And he did it. He trained for a full marathon. He rallied the energy and found the time. And it has been so good for him. For us.
And so I'm doing it. I'm running my first race -- a half marathon -- and Gwendolyn and Bill are doing it with me. Side-by-side. Team Strong.
We have a lot of training ahead of us. I have to get in shape, learn to run long distances, heck - learn to run again period. And Bill, well, he has to learn to run while also pushing Gwendolyn (and the 80 additional pounds). We had our first family run last weekend and it was pretty much the most awesome thing ever. And we did our second run this weekend and it went without a hitch. There are still questions about Gwendolyn and the distance. And, of course, her health status will determine everything. But she and Bill handled five miles with no issue and she tap, tap, tapped the entire time with a smile! And that's the biggest motivation of all. She loves it!
Come November 10th and the Santa Barbara International Marathon -- we will be ready!
So will you join us? Be part of Team GSF! Any race, game, or event can turn into an opportunity to raise funds for SMA research and programs through theGSF when you join our team. Whether this is your first athletic event or you are a seasoned pro, we welcome all athletes to move their bodies so one day those with SMA can too. Learn more here >>