2011 Run For Autism: The Countdown Begins

7 Jan

This is so weird.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I did my first autism fundraising run, back in September 2009.  I still remember how it was.  I had resumed running after a layoff of several years just six months previously, when I weighed almost 200 pounds or 91kg (to put that into context, my height is 5′ 6″) and I could barely stagger around the block, never mind run 21.1 km.

Since then, I have run a 5km event, three 10km races, two ten-milers and two more half-marathons, including the 2010 autism run.  This year I am planning more and aiming for some ambitious time goals.  How things have changed since 2009.

What’s really exciting me today is that we have already started the process of planning the 2011 Run for Autism.  I was on the organizing committee for the event last year – a committee made up of Geneva Centre for Autism staff members and parents of children with autism – and I will be helping out again this year.  Yesterday I met with Holly, the outgoing fundraiser for the Geneva Centre, and we threw around some ideas.  The first official committee meeting will happen sometime this month, and soon I will be registered for the half-marathon and starting to raise sponsorships.

People have different reasons for running.  Some people do it competitively.  Others do it to stay in shape, and others do it simply for the love of the sport.  People get hooked on the endorphins that kick in after thirty minutes or so of pounding the pavement.  And me?  My reason for running is my kids.  I got back into it because of the opportunity to raise funds for autism services, to do my bit to improve the lives of people like my son George, and also their siblings who need a special kind of support of their own.

The running is not always easy, of course it’s not.  I go through peaks and valleys (right now, in fact, I am trying to claw my way out of a bit of a valley), and there are times when I want to simply quit a run half-way because the going is so rough.  But I put a picture of my boys in my head, and that gives me the strength I need to keep going.  It is the reason I started running, and while I am really enjoying the other benefits that come from running, my boys are the reason I keep it up.

I would run to the other end of the world for my children.  Surely I can manage the occasional 21.1 km.

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6 Responses to “2011 Run For Autism: The Countdown Begins”

  1. Margie January 7, 2011 at 10:06 AM #

    Have I mentioned that you amaze me? I remember when you started running again and love watching your progress.

    • runningforautism January 7, 2011 at 10:36 AM #

      Thanks, girl! I’ve had amazing support from people along the way – you included.

  2. Autism Dad January 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM #

    Beautiful piece….running as a metaphor for the love of your children! Keep up the great work and thank you for all that you do for the autism community and for your children.

    • runningforautism January 7, 2011 at 1:04 PM #

      Thanks for the comment! The effort is totally worth it. I look around me and see what people with autism can accomplish if they are given the right support. And I look at my own child and see, despite all of the challenges, a world of potential.

  3. runtobefit January 7, 2011 at 12:41 PM #

    I really can’t think of a better reason to run! I think it’s awesome what you are doing. I think all of us are trying to get back into running mode because with the whole new year it kind of feels like we are starting over. We just need to keep thinking how great we feel when we cross every finish line…I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it. 🙂

    • runningforautism January 7, 2011 at 1:05 PM #

      That finish line feeling is great, isn’t it? And when you’re running the race for a cause that’s important to you, you can multiply the regular finish line feeling by 1000!

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