Aug 24, 2012

Running for HER life

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: I'm a wanna-be runner. I look a fool when I run. I feel like I could die due to a lack of oxygen. I begrudgingly strap on my shoes and dream up any excuse I can to get out of it. I am not a runner, and though my Dad won a state championship that involved running while he was in high school, those genes skipped my body.

Luckily, for me, The Hubby is a runner. To him, it's a stress reliever. And, his "hobby running" is straight up motivation for my two-kids-have-been-carried-full-term-on-these-hips figure.

I ran my first half marathon when The Girl was 9 months old. I sort-of trained. My second half-marathon... well, I had no business running that one. I think I ran about 10 miles total in "training." My third half-marathon was fun. I did it with my sister. Enough said.

A few months ago some friends and I were talking about running a half-marathon together. We decided on the first-ever Purdue Half Marathon and then discovered an organization called As Our Own. In a nutshell, they rescue little girls born to women working in brothels in India... and raise them "as their own." We worked to get the Purdue Half Marathon on the list of sponsor races this year for As Our Own, and it now is! WOOT WOOT! And, we just met our girl.

We're running for Neelu.

"Neelu is 15 years old and is in the 9th grade. She has a knack for keeping things neat and organized. Neelu loves to spend time with her sisters. Here tender heart is hungry to know God through worship and the Bible, and she would like to attend seminary for a future in serving others. She is passionate to go wherever God leads her!

Once a child is rescued into our family, she becomes an irreplaceable member. She is not up for adoption, because she has a permanent place of belonging, right here with us. She's ours to love, nurture, teach, and enjoy. For life."

Neelu is a real girl. She is living a life that I cannot fathom right now, and I certainly couldn't have imagined when I was her age... headed into my freshman year at Harrison High School in West Lafayette.

I am still a wanna-be. I still look funny when I run. I still can't breathe, and I still run a 12 minute mile. But I no longer do it for me. It's not about my figure, my weight, or fitting into my "skinny jeans." Every time I put on my shoes, I think of a sweet girl on the other side of the world who needs to escape her current reality. I think of Neelu, a 15-year-old girl, whom I will likely never meet while on this earth.

She is real. I'm running for HER life.

Will you support Team Indianapolis?