… you said you’d never run another marathon and now you’re running one for Adam Driver’s nonprofit in 5 months.
I can’t say this is coming from completely out of the blue, though it might seem that way to an outsider.
The truth is, since I finally managed to get a handle on my mental health in the last year, I’ve been toying with the idea of a big scary goal. I found myself after work was done for the day with a few hours to kill and I’d focus on a few things here and there: writing, laundry, chores, home improvements, etc. But after all that I still had that itch at the back of my brain that told me to push harder and dig deeper to do something that would have a real impact.
So I put my name in the lottery for the NYC Marathon. And I didn’t get in. But my disappointment on drawing day when I didn’t get that acceptance email told me all I needed to know: I was ready to run.
I’ve been a supporter of Arts in the Armed Forces since 2016, when I discovered them through Star Wars press that focused on Adam Driver and his wife’s philanthropic work together in creating a nonprofit that brings contemporary theater to the military community to foster discussion and connection.
In 2019, AITAF announced that they’d become a charity partner with the NYC Marathon. I was unable to run that year because I was in a wedding the same day as the race, but my interest was PIQUED. Obviously, the marathons in 2020 and 2021 were out because of… *gestures hysterically around at the state of things* … but when I clicked onto their website and found the application this year, I bookmarked it and did the soul searching I needed to do before finally submitting myself for consideration.
I knew very well that it still wasn’t a sure thing, so I held my breath until the day I opened my email and found those beautiful words: “We’re delighted to extend an official invitation because you have been selected to join our marathon team!“
The white hot elation I felt while reading the email quickly turned into searing cold fear when I realized: that means I have to RUN a MARATHON. And be PERCEIVED as I do so!
This isn’t just me running for myself anymore; this is for a cause that I care deeply about! The stakes are admittedly higher this time around, but that’s what makes it the perfect opportunity for me to see just what I can accomplish with a singular focus on a big scary goal and plenty of time to prepare.
It’s been three weeks since my acceptance email, and I’ve spent that entire time building a base and incorporating strength training back into my routine. I went from running maybe 3 times a week to 4 runs per week on a consistent schedule that includes strength and cross training. I’m even more serious about rest and recovery, and have incorporated stretching, light yoga and even salt baths into each week. It feels SO GOOD to have something to focus on and work towards, and I’m only just getting started.
I’m researching coaches and plan on bringing on some help in that department a little later in the game, and have also started fundraising, they key component to my membership on #Team AITAF. I’m already almost 1/3 of the way to my goal of $3,000 and love seeing that number climb! If you are feeling generous and want to help AITAF foster resiliency and boost morale in military communities through free artistic experiences, you can donate to my fundraising efforts here – and I will be eternally grateful.
But even if you choose not to donate, I hope that you’ll follow along here (as well as on Instagram) as I work my way back up to 26.2 for a cause that means a lot to me – if history has taught me anything, I know it’ll at least be an entertaining ride!