Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tinker Bell and Paying It Forward

First off, we're going to ignore the fact that I am limping today from the dang plantar fasciitis, but I do have an orthopedist appointment on Thursday. So for a moment, let's pretend I am healthy and on track for marathon training so it's totally okay that I just added a last minute half marathon!

Yep, that's right, I am running a half marathon on January 29. Not just any half marathon. The Tinker Bell half marathon in Disneyland! As of Monday, I have a plane ticket and it is a sure thing. Crazy!


It all started when a friend who is running it posted how she was going to be by herself unexpectedly as her running partner had just had surgery. I joked, "well if there's a bib for sale, I'll check plane flights." One thing led to another. I did end up checking flights, doing the math on cost, and realizing there's no way I could spend that for a last minute weekend trip to Disneyland by myself. But then something happened...

My friend who is running the race offered to cover the hotel room since she has to pay for it whether I can come or not. Another friend hooked me up with some frequent flier miles and a travel voucher which brought my flight cost under $100. I did something I've never done in my life and called my dad asking if I could trade some Christmas presents (as we aren't exchanging gifts until later this month) for cash for my trip. He offered $100 and told me I could keep my presents. (This may seem like no big deal to a lot of families, but I've not asked my father for money since I was 15.) I had comments on my Facebook status tell me they were trying to figure out how they could have helped. Someone offered $20 up for the cause. I got a message from another friend asking simply how much are we talking as I try to figure out how to cover the rest of the expenses. Amazing.

But here's the thing. It all made me sick to my stomach. How selfish of me. I brushed off a number of those offers. How could I even think about putting money towards this trip to fly across the country and run a race when I don't have an income of my own (I am a full-time mom) and there are plenty of other things my family could do if we had that money? How could all these people be offering up money or resources for me to be so selfish? As I told the last friend who messaged me, there are hungry children and homeless people. I am a completely unworthy cause.

But my friends don't think I'm unworthy. They want to make this happen for me. And when in my life did I ever think I could run a half marathon on 4 weeks notice? I've worked to be where I am today. Friends who have offered assistance have given all sorts of reason from simply the fact that they can and would like to help to gratitude for the ways I have offered myself to them in time, in relationship, and in resource. They don't owe me that. They don't owe me anything. But they want to help. They want this for me. So I'm going to go out on a limb and accept that help. 

I'd feel better about the whole thing if I was raising money for some cause, but I am flying to California to support a friend in her dream race. Yes, I get to run it and have a blast with her, but this is all about her. She inspires me (did I mention she's a rockin' triathlete? This will be her first distance race in years though). This is all about her. And while I can't give all the funds to a charity, I can pay it forward. I can welcome the generosity, love, and support of friends and family, and I can offer the same to others in unexpected and meaningful ways.
So that's what I'm going to do. I'm flying to Disneyland (after I somehow come up with the rest of the resources necessary, but it will happen) to cheer on a friend, keeping up with her as long as I can as she kicks this race's butt, and then I'm going to pay it forward. I don't know how I'll pay it forward yet, but I have no doubt that opportunities with arise. And I look forward to giving others this gift.

2 comments:

  1. I hope you start feeling better soon!! And, OMG, how exciting about the race!!!!! Hooraaaayyyyy!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. When you put it out there the Universe responds!!!!! I am soo excited for you.

    ReplyDelete

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