The best part of my day is my run every morning. Without a doubt, my day starts off right when I can run 5 or more miles as the sun comes up. I spend the time in prayer, praising God for the beauty of the sunrise and the wildlife I see, and thanking Him for connecting me with a program that is becoming a true blessing in my life. You see, I don’t just run for myself. I Run 4 Bennett!
Bennett is a little boy with Down syndrome who I have been paired with and to whom I dedicate every one of my runs, walks or workouts. His parents and I message on a closed Facebook group, and I can honestly say that Bennett has stolen my heart. I love hearing updates on what he is doing, like visiting his grandparents at the lake, or how he is progressing with walking or other health concerns. I post every day how many miles I ran for him and what I saw (sometimes even post pictures). His parents send me pictures and videos of him that always make me smile! We are developing an incredible relationship and I have never actually met this amazing family.
Tim Boyle, founder and executive director of I Run 4, says that God gave him the gift of mobility and others are not so fortunate. So he runs for Michael, his friend who is physically unable to run. Or walk. And he started this organization so others could do the same.
I am pretty motivated, but I have discovered a whole new level of inspiration knowing that I run for Bennett. You know those days when you feel like slacking off a little, or taking a rest day, or wimping out? Those don’t happen very often when you think about how hard the person you are running for works every day – just for ordinary things.
One of the huge benefits of this group is a growing awareness of disabilities, challenges and conditions that are sometimes ignored or overlooked. I will admit that I knew very little about Down syndrome at first, but I’ve been doing research and learning more about the struggles that both Bennett and his parents have to deal with daily.
I am thrilled to have been tapped to take on an administrative role with I Run 4 helping compile the names of runners and those requesting runners. So I’ll be part of making more matches happen, and be part of the joy as more relationships grow.
I truly feel like I’m running toward more and more blessings.
I run for Bennett. Who do you run for?