Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for this young lady…

My 10 year old niece Emma crossing the finish line of her 10K…I wish you could see her face better, pretty much looks like how I feel every time I run.  LOL
True story, I hated running.  I did everything I could to avoid running at all cost.  I even posted on this very blog “I will never be a runner” and I posted it with absolute certainty. 
Then my sister and her hubby started running and I was (still am) very proud of them.  Running changed their lives, probably saved their lives.  While I was proud of them it did not make me want to run, not even one little step.  
Fast forward a few years and the tragic killing of the Lakewood officers at the coffee shop happened.  One of the officers killed had responded to one of the car accidents that took out our fence.  She was very helpful and understanding of our frustration.
About a year later there was a benefit 5K at Ft. Steilacoom in memory of the officer that helped us.  I wanted to support the cause, and it was taking place in my back yard practically, but I reminded myself how much I hate running, and repeated my mantra I will never be a runner.  
Well sometime between the tragic shooting and the benefit race Emma started running her own races.  I remember crying and crying seeing the pics of her first race and reading my sisters post.  I was so proud of Emma.  And, it got me to thinking if she can run a 5K why can’t I?  Just one to support a fallen officer that had helped us, that’s all one silly little 3.1 mile run in the park.   
Fast forward a few years and today I love running.  I have made amazing friends, and have gotten to know some of my friends in a whole new way while running with them, I even ran a race with my Dad!  I have learned things about myself that I never knew.  I know how amazing it feels to train hard for something, run through pain and develop mental toughness and determination I didn’t know I had, and cross the finish line!  I feel healthy, and I get to spend some pretty special running time with Sky.  
I’m thankful that Emma ran her first race and in turn inspired me to run my first race.  It’s pretty powerful to realize your actions can inspire others, and I hope some day she understands the ripple affect her first race has had.  
Thank you for the inspiration Emma! 

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