The resounding message I have continue to have in my mind and heart about the Run Across America was that it was never about a run. This journey was about the people.
This journey was about:
- Laura reading the story of Carlos, a young adult battling cancer who had to tell his 10-year-old that he had cancer.
- Asking Mike to head out on the run 100+ miles in 6 days even though he was preparing to run the Boston Marathon a week later.
- Having Eric keep us on track and reminding us that this “Was Not Hard” compared to what those who are battling cancer have to go through.
- Learning of Zody’s story about resigning from her job to follow her passion.
- One of our own, Rachel, willing to step in when numbers were low to support the team… no questions asked.
- Kelsey, a young adult cancer survivor, sharing her camp songs in the van on a long and tiring midnight shift when we needed a giggle.
- Getting to know Harmony who took time away from her family and husband Ryan who is in the middle of his FIGHT. I still remember the tears and the hug as she boarded the plane back to WA.
- Tearing up when I learned that Debbie and Senior stepped in and ran a few segments when the team needed more support.
- Alyssa renting a car to drive to some random town in WV so she could meet up with the team and add some mileage without adding any burden to the team.
- Seeing Meg not lose one ounce of energy before, during and after her time with the team.
- Brock continuing to grab the yellow flag and make sure we kept focused on the mission.
- Giving Ellen a hug when I finally had a chance to meet her.
- Seeing Kiersten roll her ankle on her first day and remain with the team every step of the way.
- Seeing Allan playing soccer with the kids after a long day of running.
- Getting to know Pastor John and realizing the impact he has had on the Rev3 family and they on him.
- Kati and Paul taking time away from a vacation to put miles in to support the team.
- Sitting back and watching the team interact with communities and sharing with them the Mission of UCF.
- Chris always being on hand to provide content for laughter no matter where we were.
- Carter/Conrad/Colton/Carmine taking time out of his schedule to join us less than a week after leg surgery.
- Amy, Meg and Kelsey leading the team to the finish line.
- A young woman named Ashley who continued to educate me on a hourly basis.
- Understanding Krista’s mothers battle.
- Holding hands each day with people that we really didn’t know 3 weeks ago and sharing our inspiration through words and tears.
- Seeing Mike join in again on the run on the dirt back roads outside of Blacksburg because he wanted to help us out.
- Sharpie always willing to do “something” to make us laugh when we needed it.
- Jay grabbing the camera to make sure that everyone was well represented and working to keep the website update in his “free” time.
- Knowing that when it was time to stop, eat and rest that Debbie, Senior and Chris would be there waiting with open arms.
This was never about running and I am so thankful to everyone that was involved in this journey. It has truly left a mark in my heart and I am still working to understand the magnitude. This has truly enhanced my appreciation for the great lengths that people will go for others. True selfless acts and I am so proud to call these people friends!