How about we do something great for the world that is far more expansive than political parties or elections?
A few months ago, I discovered the organization Every Mother Counts (EMC) an organization founded by Christy Burlington Burns to raise awareness and funds for global maternal health.
I’ve been a runner for 30+ years. For the past 25 years, running a marathon has been one of my life goals. My running has always been private—a sacred time to be alone, dream, plan, laugh, cry, sweat, push myself, connect with the elemental; the land, my spirit, possibilities and potential for the future. The 3 R’s of constant inspiration and partnership in life: ‘Reading, Running, and ‘Riting.’
My only partners as I run are first the four-footed kind, first my beloved O’Keeffe and now the indomitable, Clyde. I don’t run with headphones, music, or people. That is my time to be and listen. With the discovery of Every Mother Counts, this sacred, private time had the potential to make a difference in the lives of women and children around the world. This organization inspired me to bring the very private to the public.
With the discovery of EMC, my running takes on new purpose. I think of the women featured in documentary film by Turlington, “No Woman, No Cry.”
I ran half marathon 18 years ago. Luke was 3-months old, Wyatt was 2-years old, and we loaded up and drove from California (52 feet above sea level) to Steamboat Springs, Colorado (6,732 ft. above sea level) the day before the race.
I had never heard of acclimating for altitude. One really has to question running a half marathon at high altitude 3 months postpartum. Yet at the time, it seemed like the perfect thing to do. I ran the next morning.
When I completed the race altitude sickness set in and my main memory of this time is of intense pain and being curled up in the fetal position on asphalt on the side of the highway, breastfeeding a 3-month old Luke, my head on the paint lines of the highway, the wheels of vehicles speeding by. I thought, “This must be the lowest moment of my life.” Yet, I had finished.
Through the years the goal of running a marathon stayed with me. With the discovery of EMC, running now had the potential to create positive effects in a world desperate for it. I trained for the Duke City Half Marathon in Albuquerque, New Mexico to raise awareness for Every Mother Counts.
Of course, I had my Frida Kahlo earrings on and her spirit ran with me.
Cottonwoods lined the trail and hot air balloons hung above.
I crossed the finish line in 2:23, my main goal completed—to finish. Turlington describes best the inspiration and work of EMC:
25 years after setting the goal, I now train to run the Tucson Marathon on December 10, 2016, in support of Every Mother Counts and global maternal health. When I listen to the news the national discourse in the US that defies belief and the faces of migrants forced from their home around the world desperate for safety and peace, the need of the world overwhelms. But perhaps if we each do one thing that calls to us, what may seem small may make a world of difference. Please join me in the journey:
Now, I just need to run those 26.2 miles for us.