One year from today I will run a marathon. God help me.
I hated running. Didn't understand it. Wasn't remotely interested in it. Certainly had no inclination to do any kind of race and definitely not for any kind of distance. I was in the camp that said, "I only run if I'm being chased." Or if there was something particularly good at the end of it like a garage sale or my Babche's beet leaf cabbage rolls with cream and fresh dill, or Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in a top hat and breeches.
But in January I went for my annual check-up and my doctor did that evil Body Mass Index test and she noted, kindly, that mine was on the higher end. I read between the lines: I was getting fat. I went home right after, looked at myself in the mirror FROM THE BACK, and I knew that she was right.
So I bought all the gear (including a pair of running pants that looked good FROM THE BACK) and I joined a running clinic. Even then I had no desire to do any kind of race. I just wanted to put one foot in front of the other at a pace marginally faster than walking. I was hoping I might even like it or at least tolerate it enough that I could make a habit of it.
And then in April I had a conversation. The employee running club at Rogers Insurance is going to train for and run a marathon together and raise money for the organization I work for at the same time - L'Arche Calgary (www.larchecalgary.org).
(Pause for a HUGE shout out to Rogers!!!!!)
They are going to run the Marathon du Medoc (www.marathondumedoc.com) in Bordeaux, France in September 2010. At this marathon you run in costume, you run by castles, and they feed you wine along the way. Plus, the founder of L'Arche, Jean Vanier, and the original L'Arche community are an hour north of Paris and a visit can be arranged.
I had one of those moments where the hamster on the wheel in your brain steps off for a second to talk to you. My hamster's name is Serendipity and sounds like Morgan Freeman and on that day he said, "Well, Robyn, I guess you'd better run, too."
And so here I am, training for a marathon and fundraising for L'Arche as well. I decided to add the fundraising component to echo Rogers' efforts but also because I'm inherently lazy and I need lots of motivators to make this happen. And I need other people to hold me accountable. And I need a space to process the experience (and likely vent). And I need you to share it with me. And because I hope you might reward my efforts by supporting the gift of L'Arche to the world. Please note that I plan to cover all my costs associated with this endeavour (hurray for air miles and family birthday presents) so any contribution you make will go directly to L'Arche Calgary.
So I'm doing this blog and I plan to report weekly on my progress to tell you my thoughts and feelings on it all. And of course tell you all about the marathon when I get to it and tell you about L'Arche. I encourage comments and tips and thoughts of your own. I just ask that you keep it clean and reasonably polite and maybe refrain from talking about how I look FROM THE BACK for now.
I've set up a Giving Page through www.canadahelps.org/gp/5210. If you want to make a contribution to L'Arche Calgary (via credit card) you would do so here. Tax receipts will be issued by CanadaHelps but the donation comes straight to L'Arche. Please note that you can remain anonymous. You are also welcome to wait until there is tangible, legal proof that I completed the darned thing. And also please note that I will not judge you or berate you or publicly mock you for choosing not to donate to this. I will do that for other reasons ;-)