At some point in the past few weeks, I discovered something new. I thought that the reaction to me 'coming out' as being in training for a Marathon would earn me laughs, derision, cautions and other unsolicited advice from those who took one look at my 45 year old age, my 290 ish pound weight and the fact that my weight sits on a five foot two frame, and decided that I should not be doing what I was doing.
Mind you, I already had decided that I was insane, so admonitions that I was crazy would have been fine!
You know, aside from one Doctor, who is a fitness freak and who knows his stuff (and who gently suggested that getting to this age at this weight on my short frame without chronic knee and hip issues was a miracle and to PLEASE listen to my body and not create those issues) the reaction has been admiration, moral support, offers to walk with me for practice and most importantly, something I did not anticipate. People are telling me that 'I' am motivating them!
Now, I don't think I need to tell you that me being a motivator for someone else to get to the gym is really not something that has happened a whole lot in my life. Sincerely, I have inspired people to swim better (hell, that happens every time I go swimming and someone asks me to correct their strokes!) and cook better, but never once have I inspired others to work out. Its almost comical when you look at it.
The thing is that in fact, on some level, there must be something in people that is saying 'Wow, if she can do it, I can do it' and honestly, it is insanely morally supportive to hear that! It's not so much ego as it is further accountability for me. Knowing that if I were to decide to ditch practice for no reason or something then I would not just be letting myself down, but also some people who found my having set this goal for myself inspiring. Don't worry Doc, I will still listen to my body. No Zumba for me, for example, because it HURTS my hips!
So, let me just repeat this, because these three things, are my goals for doing this.
1) I just want to finish. I don't care if everyone goes home before I get to the finish line, I just want to finish.
2) I want to raise consciousness about Yachad. I want people to click on the Yachad link and learn about Yachad and what it is, who can be involved (not just people with disabilities!) and make sure that word gets out there so that people who need Yachad will know about it and people who want to participate in Yachad will be there so that they can participate.
3) I want to raise money for Yachad. My goal is $3000. I hope to get there, but if not, I am happy to contribute what I can. I sort of figure that the more I help to raise Yachad's profile, the more money will be raised over the years.
So, here's where I need your help. I want to find ways to create knowledge of what I am doing publically. I would appreciate referrals to health oriented media, be they Jewish, not Jewish, magazine, radio, TV, internet. Introductions to those who might be willing to help me achieve my goals of raising profile and raising money. Or, introductions to people or entities that might like to donate to Yachad or provide corporate sponsorships.
I think that we have all the makings of an interesting story here. An amazing organization, a protagonist who is a most unlikely participant in a marathon of any description, at any pace, and in addition, someone who is willing to share their story and their learning process with the public, despite an embarassing bodyweight and a history of not being fit. If you personally have been inspired by me, your assistance in letting other people know about my blog and runner's page would be much appreciated as well.
I will say that it is NOT my goal to lose weight. I intend to be fit and if weight loss is a side effect, fabulous. i will NOT yoyo with my weight anymore. Every time I lose significant amounts of weight, I pretty much have to obsess 24/7 about it and I become a terrible friend, mother, daughter, wife and participant in life. So essentially this story will likely continue to be about a nearly 300 pound 45 year old woman who achieved walking a half marathong and who is actually considering doing another one a month later in Jerusalem if all goes well. And maybe next year a whole one if they would let me walk it.
So, thats what I am looking for in all of this. I will do my part. I will get out the door and practice and cross train. I will show up and do my best. Please share my blog, connect me to anyone you think might be interested, either personally, or in a way that can aid me in accomplishing my three goals!
Lets do as Yachad does, and leave no one behind! There is something here for everyone!
And I need a slogan. Any ideas?
My runner profile for donations can be found at http://miami.teamyachad.com/runner/schwevy/