Dear Runners,

I ran with you this Saturday and I was struck with your bravery.  For me, it’s always a challenge to wake up early in the morning to go out and run.  As a mom of 4 kids I often don’t get to bed very early as the evening is the only chance I have to get much done.  Then I have to set my alarm an extra 15 minutes early to nurse my baby before I head out (and leave at 5:15 am so I can get home to get 4 kids ready for school).  Yes, it’s HARD!  I see you…with some of the same struggles as me (yeah, I’m talking to those moms from OC Rescue Mission that I see even running with their babies).  As if it isn’t hard enough to get up for a run…you are getting another little person up and ready…and then having to push that extra weigh (and deal with any fussiness as you struggle to breathe).  “No, mommy doesn’t want to talk to you or argue…I can barely breathe.”  YOU are BRAVE!

IMG_5701I also see those of you that are smoking right before the run.  I know that can’t be easy to breathe when running when you also smoke.  You know that too.  And yet you still got up and came.  YOU are BRAVE!

Some of you have extra weight that you’ve put on over the years and just moving above a shuffle is tough.  I know to some extent because I can compare running with baby weight after my children are born to how it normally feels.  Thighs and arms chafing.  Extra thudding on impact.  Chest that is bouncing and painful.  Yes, you have extra weight to lose (and hopefully during the course of training some will come off and you will notice a difference).  But for now, the weight is still there and it is hard.  YOU are BRAVE!

And there are those of you that have never really exercised before.  Your body is so sore after just a few minutes of running.  Your lungs feel on fire and there are still 4 more minutes before the coach calls for time to walk.  “What am I doing out here?!  I don’t exercise!”  YOU are brave.

I’m reminded of the 13 year old girl that repeatedly said on Saturday that she never finishes anything.  “I’m a quitter.”  How does one decide that by 13?  Whatever causes one to conclude that, means that they’ve started many things and feel they can’t finish.  And yet, even with that in your head, you have begun this program.  You STARTED!  Sometimes that mental idea that you are a quitter can sink in so much that you never even start things because you don’t want to be a failure *again*.  YOU are BRAVE!

To all of you that are struggling, but are being courageous in the battle.  I want to share that it gets easier.  Yes, it will always be a bit of a struggle to get up in the morning and to exercise.  But, the more you ignore that voice in your head telling you to crawl back in the warm bed, the easier it will be to ignore that voice the next time.  This running thing…this training…you will learn it does prepare your body.  BUT, probably just as much it prepares your mind.  Start now thinking of yourselves not as quitters, but as courageous.  You can succeed!  And when you succeed with the running, it will help you remember that in other areas of your life.  You CAN DO IT!

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I leave you with Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”


Brittany Watrous (Program Director)

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