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Thursday, May 2, 2013

the dedicating miles experiment: 100 miles

100 miles. 

Even as I type these numbers out I have a hard time believing that I reached this goal.  On April 2, 2013 I started this experiment: For every mile I walked/ran/sprinted I would dedicate a mile to someone, a friend, family member or former colleague. I was trying to lose weight and get healthy and I was stuck in a plateau. I thought about quitting. I hated working out. I dreaded lacing up my sneakers. I moaned when I walked uphill in the rain/hail/mist/drizzle. I annoyed myself and anyone who happened to be around me. I couldn't go on like this.

I believe insights, life-changers can come at the oddest times. I was walking (again in the rain) and I couldn't get a friend out of my mind. She was miserable and depressed. I held her in my thoughts the entire time I walked. I wished her love. I prayed for her. I wanted to be there with her and so from 954 miles away I did the only thing I could. I walked with her for 4 miles. I wished her love.

I felt good when I walked through the front door. I felt like I had accomplished something. I decided at that moment that every single mile on every single run would be dedicated to someone. Today, on May 2, after one month I reached 100 miles.

This is a big deal.

I am not a girl who likes to work out.

I am not naturally coordinated.

I can be like a newborn colt when I am running. If there is a stone in the road, I will trip over it.

I quit. When things get hard, I quit.

100 miles. I didn't quit. 

Why? Because you were there with me. You lifted me up. You pushed me. You encouraged me.

How it works: Before I even lace up my shoes, I look at my Facebook friends and I choose four people at random. I have a running app and once I start the app, I begin running and think of the first person on my list. I picture her face as I run and I imagine that my happy thoughts + energy surround her in pale aqua shimmering light. As I start running up the hill, I think "This is for you. This sweat, this determination is for YOU." When the mile is up, my app tells me and I say thank you to my mile 1 companion and start thinking of my mile 2 friend and so on through mile 4. When I complete my 4 miles, I stretch and thank each friend for joining me on this journey.

Every day I take a photo from my run. When I get home I create an image with the date and miles along with the names of the people I dedicated miles to that day.  I post this on Facebook. Sometimes I receive emails from friends or from someone I knew slightly years ago who was tagged in the image. The common denominator in these emails is this: How did you know I needed prayers and good thoughts on this day? I don't know how to answer that. Most often, 98% of the time, I choose the people I will run with (in my head + soul) at random. (Sometimes if I know that a person is having a challenge I will intentionally choose him on that day.)

What's weird + wonderful? There have been SO MANY times when I am stretching that I get a call on my mobile (out of the blue) from one of the people who I dedicated a mile to that day. They tell me "I was just thinking of you."  It freaks me out each time but it also reaffirms the fact that this is working. This good energy is working its way through the universe.

As I re-read this I know it sounds hokey and New Agey, but here are the facts: Since October I've lost 82 pounds and I know that the biggest reason I haven't quit is because of the support from my friends, my family and from YOU.

When I started this, I was a little nervous putting it out there. What if I quit and disappointed myself and everyone else? What I realized though, is that the biggest rewards in life are received after you've taken the biggest risks.

So, to you and you and you, to those who I have already run for and to those I have yet to run for, thank you for your encouragement and your love.

You mean the world to me. I wish you love, my friend.


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