Any of you who have known Keith for any amount of time know that Keith was an avid runner. He started running in high school and found that it was the best way for him to burn off steam and work through life. He had hoped to run a marathon in his lifetime, but never got the chance.
Any of you who have known me know that I do not share Keith’s opinion of running. We met somewhere in the middle by running the Color Run 5k a few years ago and I vowed to never do more than a 5k ever.
And yet, I find myself turning to running as the next step in my grief journey.
In September, I’ll be running the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. 13.1 whole miles. On my feet.
I’m feeling all sorts of crazy, scared, nervous, anxious, and doubtful. But I know at the end of this journey I will have learned a lot about myself, worked through some of my grief, gotten a lot stronger and healthier, and chosen to trust God for the strength to do something I’m afraid of. There’s a voice inside my head that says I can’t do this. I’m determined to prove that voice wrong.
It’s taken some time to make this decision and it hasn’t been an easy one.
Once I decided to commit, a group of women agreed to pray for me through my journey and some even decided to run as well. I’m thankful for their accountability and companionship because there are mentally, emotionally, and physically challenging days ahead. I’m thankful for a friend who knows me well who is helping me to train safely and consistently and to prepare well and take care of my body.
I’m looking forward to the hours pushing a double jogging stroller because it means Caleb and Libby will see their mom being healthy and doing hard things.
I’m dreading the hours of running that will remind me of Keith’s absence.
Running the half marathon for the Air Force will be a humbling and emotional experience because of all the service has done for my family.
Ultimately, I’m hoping I can run to find freedom in my thoughts and a different way to stay strong and healthy. Since I’ll never be fast like Keith, I hope that in these ways I can learn to run like Keith.
Many of the women running along side me will be fighting their own fears, so we decided to chronicle our journeys with #RunLikeKeith on social media.
I would truly appreciate your prayers and encouragement and if anyone is crazy enough to want to run with us, please let me know!