The first taste of goodness: the RMM
I discovered the Diva Half Marathon from a private Facebook group, the running moms (RMM). Inspired by the determination of my friend Kelly, I decided to sign up. I've been part of the RMM for only 10 short months, but this virtual support group full of wisdom for running, and the race of life, have quickly won my heart. This was going to be a meet-up, moms from around the country coming together to run! I signed up, got air plane tickets and joined some of the mamas in a room. It was exciting to be going down to South Carolina to finally these women with whom I have shared some of life's most personal issues, and found some of my greatest support.
I flew down with a few local mamas, and the second I stepped off the plane, one of the ladies had overwhelmed me with goodness. She had rented a car and had already found out where my hotel was in order to drive me there. On top of it she had contacted my roommates (whom I had never met) to make sure that I had a ride to the pasta dinner meet up the next day. I hadn't taken time to plan any of it out, and mama Candice had taken the time to make sure I was covered. Candice is proof that There are still good people out there.
The second taste of goodness: Diva runners from Florida
I'm a fairly social gal. Even as a runner, I'm usually commenting or chatting it up on the race course. Diva was no different. Around mile 10 I was feeling the heat, the sun shining on me was tough. I'm a northern girl and our sun has barely started to shine. Needless to say, most of my training was in the cold, or very least overcast. So the hot South Carolina sunshine was tiring me out, and fast. I had started taking walk breaks, which I never do. It was frustrating to me, but thinking about my fatherless son back home, I knew I needed to play it safe. Pushing myself was fine, but I had to be smart about it.
I don't remember what comment I said around mile 10, but it sparked the divas from Florida to invite me to join them. They were doing intervals: running 1 minute, walking 1 minute. When asked to join, I decided it was probably a good idea. Those ladies kindness brought me through the last 3miles. They encouraged me, they pushed me, and most importantly they let me walk just enough to keep me going. As we neared the end, about a quarter mile out, where the crowds were, they said, "let's run in!" and I did. They pushed me and I needed it. These divas didn't know me, had no vested interest in my life, but they took time to pull me in alongside, challenge and push me. It was just what I needed. The divas from Florida are proof there are good people out there.
The final taste of goodness: no mama left behind
After finishing the race I started to look for my RMM friends, after reuniting with almost all of them, we noticed my roommate had not yet finished. We started back along the course to find her. Not too far out we saw her... surrounded! Several other RMM mamas had already gone back, and here they were running with our caboose! I jumped onto the course with a few others and cheering our friend along, we ran down the shoot all the way towards to finish line. Shouts of encouragement were continual and the support was practically tangible. I stepped off the course to watch my roomie cross the finish line and I wanted to cry. A group of perfect strangers, united on facebook as mothers who love to run, had just dropped everything to help a fellow mama.
I can't put into words the experience, and the emotions of watching Kate surrounded by women who hardly knew her, giving their all for her. They were not willing to cheer her on, or watch her finish, but rather to get on the course with her, running along side her, taking part in her victory to make sure she finished! Perhaps that's how I can describe the running moms, we aren't spectators, or cheerleaders. We are in the trenches with each other, whether at a race, or virtually via Facebook. We help each other in our everyday struggles, we grab arms and run along side. We make sure that no mama is left behind. Every mama crosses the finish line and receives her medal! The mamas who ran with Kate are proof that good people are out there!
I'm grateful for running. I'm grateful for the divas from florida and the RMM. After all I have been through: betrayal, deceit, trials and pain, I have found good trustworthy people are NOT the exception, they are the rule. And they are out there! You just have to open your heart and give them a place to come in.