Looking back at my blog posts this spring, it’s easy to see that weather has taken center stage since mid-April. I dodged one tornado on April 15 and dodged an even closer one on April 27. That one is the one I’m still struggling with and still trying to find a balance with all the emotions and survivor’s guilt and lingering depression from working so closely with disaster relief, which is still headquartered in the church parking lot. I’m now in a better place, a “place of yes” to steal from Bethenny Frankel. The first few days were rough, the weeks got better then worse then back to good again in a perpetual see-saw of extreme emotions.
This past Saturday was a good thing. The local track club decided to had a fund-raising event for the local Red Cross chapter. Since the first morning after the storms, I’ve donated my time, but held off on donating monetary funds until I felt sure the funds were going directly to the people we were helping feed and shelter. Then, this event was planned. What better way to raise money than doing what I love? I sent out the link of facebook and one week later had $975.00 from family and friends. I am still humbled and honored to have raised that much. It raised my spirits tremendously to know that people all over the country wanted to help our little town recover.
The morning was beautiful. The humidity was low (SHOCK!!) and sun shining bright. We were in an area of town that dodged the storms by less than a couple of miles and was still pristine with as many trees as I could take in. The event had 3 choices of distances, 5, 10 or 15K (3.1, 6.2, or 9.3 miles). I chose the 15K since I have a half marathon coming up and a lot of people donated. The least I could do was run for while.
During the run, I let my mind just wander wherever it wanted. I thought about the past few weeks in terms of what the future might hold, I thought about the many faces I’ve seen. I thought about our church family who is going to have to stand together to continue this relief work since the need is so very strong still. And our need to work together to rebuild our physical building. I thought about the people who have supported me and our town through thoughts, words, prayers, monetary donations, and just pats on the back when there are no words to make it all go away. I thought about my family who has extraordinary patience with me. Our family in Tuscaloosa are dealing with their own methods of coping but never let an opportunity pass to check on me.
I had a lot of fun. I smiled a lot. I cheesed it up for the camera, talked with some friends from crossfit, and talked to Ed, the show guy about the wonders of using The Stick when traveling without a foam roller. Smoothie King (who lost their entire store to the tornado but managed to relocate quickly) showed up with their legendary strawberry banana and strawberry kiwi smoothies. They love to come to our local races during the hot months to share the good stuff.
The final total raised was a little over $6,000 from 80 runners!! All of that will go to the Tuscaloosa area. I’m extremely proud to be a part of this event and can’t thank you enough for supporting me!
On a side note, this is Mrs. Carol. A couple of days after this picture, she was in a bike accident. A car ran a stop sign and she flew over her bars. She’s at home now with broken ribs and collar bone. While these are serious injuries, she could have lost her life. Runners, walkers, and bikers, PLEASE keep alert when on the roads!!!