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A few weeks ago, I shared my OneWord365 for the year and promised I’d explain more about how I’m very slowly training for a very slow half-marathon… and now it’s almost three weeks later and I’m finally getting around to it.  But I am getting around to it so there’s that at least.

So let’s start at the beginning.

Remember last year at this time that I couldn’t really even walk.

And then last April I started physical therapy and by May I was able to do almost anything I put my mind.

Even so, I was incredibly tired after doing many of those things.  I work long days, I spend much of my time sitting, bending, and lifting – all which are things that will probably always bother my back – and I was growing increasingly frustrated that I still wasn’t feeling like myself.  And also that I had gained quite a bit of weight but that wasn’t really motivating me to do anything about it.

Fast forward to August.  My dad’s company was sponsoring an event in Green Bay for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and I was invited to attend because they had some extra tickets.  Long story long… I found amazing inspiration that evening.

I met this incredible little girl and her mom.  A little girl whose life cannot be easy.  Who has struggled through way more than I can even imagine.  And yet, she had this positive energy that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.  Her smile literally melted my heart.  You can learn more about Reagan on her Facebook page.  I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her too.

I was outbid on an auction item featuring a picture Reagan created so I asked her after the event what I needed to do in order for her to create something special for me.  She said she’d do it for a hug.  I of course gave her the biggest hug I could but promised her mom I’d make a donation as well.

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That was the first I heard of Team Momentum.

Team Momentum is a group of people who train together for races all over the United States, dedicating each mile and every dollar raised to advance advances MDA’s mission to assist families with health care services and day-to-day support, fund research breakthroughs worldwide, and fight back against dozens of life-threatening muscle diseases.

After making a gift to support Reagan’s mom’s marathon last fall, I started thinking this crazy thought that maybe I could do a half-marathon.  I mean, I had learned by this point that all the walking in the world wasn’t tiring my back.  So maybe, even though I have never really run at all in my life and I have never been what you would call an athlete, maybe… I could run.

I said this out loud for the first time last fall to a girl I met who works for MDA.  And she told me the story of her half-marathon with Reagan’s mom last year… how at mile 12 she didn’t think she could finish and was reminded that she was doing this in honor of all of those people who will never be able to run their own half-marathon.  I believe her exact words were “the last mile was the easiest I’ve ever run.”

After hearing that, I knew I was in.  I’ve been running for almost 8 weeks now a few nights a week.  And I’m still slow.  And it’s still terrible.  And my body hurts in places I didn’t actually know existed.  But I’m doing it.

I’ve already realized I’ll never be ready to run the half by May but I won’t let that stop my momentum.  Yesterday, I signed up to run the 10K portion of the Chicago 13.1 as part of Team Momentum.  And next year, I already know I’ll do the half-marathon.

I promise this won’t become a running blog but I do plan to talk about my training and inspiration moving forward just like I talk about so many other things that are important to me.

Because momentum is more than just my word of the year.  It’s so much bigger than that and I am already so inspired to be a small part of that family.

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P.S. I also promise I won’t constantly ask for money through my blog but if you want to support my training and MDA at all, feel free to check out my personal fundraising page.  Part of this run is a commitment to raise at least $500 to support the MDA.  I mean it when I say that every little bit helps!

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