Some people ask, “Why?” while others ask, “Why not?” Why not choose why not?
In my experience, I tend to have more fun and find out what I’m made of when choosing why not.
Why not go after the dream of running a marathon? It’s only 26.2 miles.
Why not run the St. George Marathon less than 12 months after the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon?
Why not run the Jackpot ultra? A 50 K is only 31.07 miles, just a few miles more than a marathon.
Why not sign up for the Nanny Goat 24 hour race? I already completed 32.5 miles in 12 hours. What’s another 12 hours?
So what if Nanny Goat is postponed, why not put on our own 24 hour run and call it the Monkey Goat?
The Beyond Limits Running Jackpot Ultra Festival where I ran my first 50 K is adding a 72 hour option. Why not sign up and see if I can run 100 miles?
Jackpot’s postponed thanks to the pandemic, well why not plan another self supported run? If I could complete 54 miles in 24 hours, then why not shoot for 100 miles in 48 hours. We’ll call this one the Crackpot 100.
That’s how I ended up running loop after loop in my neighborhood on February 12 and 13. My neighbors thought I was crazy. My family and non-runner friends thought I was crazy. My running tribe, they inspired me to keep moving. Two other girls were doing there own 100 miler on the opposite end of town. As moms of kids in school during distance-learning, we Are creative with finding ways to support our family while still supporting our own goals. Other runners showed up for laps to keep me company, wouldn’t let me stop even during 40 mile winds and a hail storm. Lastly, my husband took the kids camping , thus gifting 36 hours of uninterrupted time to just focus on my goals, showed up in time to finish the last 10 miles with me.
When Aaron took the tether, he asked me what things went threw my head while running. During long runs, I find my mind able to let go of the to do’s and enjoy just being in the moment, the needed moments of reflection and release one needs in the space of self care. I didn’t have any moments like that though on Friday and Saturday because of the great company that kept me entertained. It wasn’t until the next morning when the reality of the monumental task I had just completed and the overwhelming feeling of pride and accomplishment took over in waves of tears that wouldn’t stop flowing.
I really did it. I set a goal to run 100 miles in 48 hours. I headed out alone on the very first lap before any guides even arrived because I was itching to get going. Friends came and went throughout the duration of the miles. We called it for the night at 50 miles just before midnight on day 1. Because of the rest allowed my body, I started Saturday morning feeling strong and ready to finish the second half of the hundred. Just as we were about to turn the corner onto our street to start the last lap, my husband said he needed to pee. OH no, there was no stopping. TMI warning, my body said there would be absolutely no stopping by letting it all flow. Apparently I needed to pee too. By that time we’d been walking for hours because of the nausea and aches and pains. Not realizing that he really did run in the house to use the bathroom, the muscle memory of the last two days of lapping the 1.1 mile Capital B shaped loop in our hood moved my feet one painful zombie step after the next. Cold, wet, and hurting all over, I slipped into the hot epsom salt bath waiting for me just over 40 hours after the very first lap.
All the feels, so many feels, the gratitude, the joy, the sense of accomplishment, they overflowed from my exhausted body, and I just couldn’t help but feel strong, powerful, and unstoppable.
So now what?
Why not run/ walk/ ride the distance from San Fransisco to Boston, invite all of you to do it with me virtually and raise funds for Braille literacy?
Why not call our Braille Across America team the Unstoppables?
National Federation of the Blind President, Mark Riccobono said in his 2018 banquet address, ‘it is our diversity that gives us depth. It is our long standing commitment to work together that gives us strength. It is our synergy that makes us unstoppable.”
Why not take my love of reading, combine it with my love of running, and support national braille press through my love of writing to get more braille books into the hands of blind children?
It wasn’t until I learned Braille in my early 20’s, after loosing the ability to read print that I felt literate again. I was that kid who always had my nose in a book, but I literally had my nose in the book with high powered magnifiers with bright lights attached. The more eyesight I lost, the harder I had to work to keep up in school, and the more neck and back pain I suffered from leaning in to try to see. Meeting successful blind adults with careers and families, getting around confidently with long white canes, using accessible technology, and reading Braille kicked me out of my fake it to make it funk. Why not press pause on school to learn skills that would turn me into a confident blind adult? Why not go to the most intensive training center often referred to as the bootcamp for the blind? During my time at the Louisiana Center for the Blind, I not only gained the positive philosophy and confidence through nine intensive months of training, I gained back the love of literacy when I learned Braille. Now as a blind mom to a blind fifth grader and third grader, I couldn’t imagine being able to raise smart, strong, creative, resourceful, resilient, confident kids without the solid foundation of Braille and blindness skills to build on.
Only 10% of blind/ low vision kids are taught Braille.
70% of blind adults are unemployed.
90% of those employed blind adults are Braille readers.
Why not raise these low literacy rates by running/ walking/ riding and raise funds to get more Braille books into the hands of blind children.
Why not Braille Across America!
Learn more about how to sign up or make a donation here. https://www.classy.org/campaign/braille-across-america-2021/c320409