Posted by: Dennie | July 23, 2013

Back To The Dash

Today is my fifty-seventh birthday. Last Thursday, my birthday plan was no plan– business as usual. Work day. On Friday I decided the lake was a better option than the office, since Monday was previously scheduled as a day off and it would make for a very nice long weekend. Vacation day.  On Sunday, it appeared Mother Nature had other plans to rain on my parade. Revert to work day. On Monday,  my husband informed me that he’d made surprise plans for me. Vacation day! This morning, we woke to clouds and pouring rain. The surprise plans included a visit to the Botanical Gardens. Not exactly a rainy day activity. Final decision-Work day.

When I started this blog, I had a few topic ideas. Aging. Specifically, me aging. Fighting the aging process. My strategy. Exercise. Specifically, The Warrior Dash.  Fear. Of said Warrior Dash. Of Aging. Of Writing. Of, of, of…

What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?”

I’ve drifted away from the original intent of this blog, but I won’t beat myself up for it. Some evenings I begin to write and end up in a totally different direction from where I began. Like driving to New Hampshire and ending up in Virginia. It wasn’t where I meant to go, but  I discovered something beautiful on the detour.

So tonight I’m going back to where I started because there’s some very important stuff I’ve been meaning to include here. This Warrior Dash, this personal challenge for my fifty-seven year old self, is not completely self-serving. There is another element that I have not mentioned, yet it deserves substantial attention, and like this race, is another first for me. When I registered for the event, they asked if I would be interested in helping to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I don’t like being asked for money and I don’t like asking people for money. I was hesitant. But after some consideration, I decided to do it, not because it was for a good cause. Not because the hospital research benefits kids who are suffering insufferable illness. Not because no family ever pays St. Jude for anything and no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. None of those things. I decided to pledge to raise three hundred dollars because that amount would allow me to have a hot shower after the race. Yes, I knew it would also contribute to a wonderful cause. But that shower was the clincher.

While I’m ashamed to admit that fact, if it were not for the enticing hot shower offer, I would not have learned more about the hospital and the gargantuan efforts this organization strives to make against pediatric illnesses, especially cancer. The stories are unimaginably painful, but the strength and courage displayed by the families, more importantly, the kids, are  powerful and uplifting. The children and their families are fighting daily battles that make The Warrior Dash look like a walk in the park. They, and the St. Jude organization, have my utmost respect.

To date, I have raised four hundred seventy-five dollars. I was humbled by the support I received for this venture and  will continue to raise more money right up until the day of the race.

I feel better now that I’ve reverted to one of my initial topics and filled in the blanks. My blog bounces back and forth in the same way my decision to take, or not to take (that is the question) a day off from work. Eventually I get around to making a decision. And a point.

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