Sunday, April 17, 2011

A boy named Griffin...

Saturday's mission moment was given by Jessica. I first met Jessica through Team in Training in winter '09. It took us almost the entire season to strike up a conversation but after that we've been friends since and this is our 2nd season mentoring together. Jessica's mission moment is below...typed in her words.

When I first started this in 2009, like a lot of people, I did not have any type of connection to the cause. I was a member of a Moms Group and it was suggested that some of us put together relay teams for The White Rock Marathon and fundraise for Team In Training. Most of my friends did not know what TNT was but I did. I also knew that there was NO WAY this group of moms could run 6 or 7 miles. I knew what it takes to be a runner and I knew that we didn’t have it. It’s hard. Really hard. And I knew this not because I am or was a runner but because I’ve been exposed to running and races my entire life. My dad is a runner. All his friends are runners. Not occasional runners. Good runners. Fast runners. All of our family vacations were planned around marathons. He ran Boston and New York often. He always BQ’d (Boston Qualified) and was over 50 with a finish time well below 3:30 (New York’s requirements). Again, he is good.

So when my friends suggested we do this I thought they were out of their mind. Crazy. A few of us exercised regularly (not me of course) but none of us had ever run. So with no intention of signing up, I reluctantly went to the TNT informational meeting. I listened to the coach tell how anyone could so this. Still not convinced. I listened to a mentor say how fundraising is not as hard as it seems. Still no go. And then Monique Yarbrough got up to talk about her connection to the cause…

I remember her words like she said them yesterday. “My name is Mo and I am here to tell you about a boy named Griffin.” Her son Griffin was 2 when he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. He was 6 when he lost his battle with cancer. All I could think about was my son Grant, 6 at the time. That I get to go home and kiss him goodnight and that Mo didn’t. That here she is telling us why she walks and raises money. It hit me so deep. Would I be this brave if the roles were reversed? Could I do what she was doing? I don’t know. But I could figure out a way to run and raise money. So as I’m crying for this woman I have never met, I signed up. Because of Mo’s story - Griffin’s story – I committed to run not the relay but a half marathon.

And then I get home and have a bit of buyers remorse. What have I done? What have I gotten myself into? I decide I need to run a few miles before actual training starts. Just so I don’t embarrass myself. I didn’t make it 2 minutes before I had to stop. It was horrible. I wanted to quit before I even started. But I went to the first training anyway. Again, very reluctantly. And it just so happened that Mo was there. Telling her story. And that was it. I never looked back.

This is now my forth season with Team in Training. I have completed 9 half marathons and 1 FULL marathon. Somewhere along the way I realized I was getting just as much from TNT as I was giving to it. Maybe more. I have a great life. A wonderful and supportive family. But TNT filled a hole in my life that I did not realize was there. It is such an amazing feeling to be a part of something that helps so many lives. Something that is so much bigger than you. I will be forever grateful that I was “forced” to go to that TNT meeting.

Go TEAM! -


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