With a new month, some beautiful weather and a few good running days this week, I'm ready to move on and put this summer behind me. It's been rough, for so many reasons, but I don't want to dwell. In trying to look on the bright side, I'll just say that God freed up my time this fall, allowing me more time and energy to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, train for the half marathon and enjoy my favorite season. He also steered me to a number of good doctors, who have helped reduce my pain.
I realize I have two very large challenges ahead of me: Raising money in a time when people are faced with mounting financial problems and aren't as willing to give, and training for this half marathon in the midst of my health issues. But I'm not deterred. I'll do what I can, with the resources I have, and remember with each step who I'm doing this for.
Two weeks ago, I went to the visitation for Chris in Virginia Beach. I was able to meet his family, see his beautiful daughter and wife and pay tribute not just to Navy SEAL Chris Campbell, but the guy I knew back in the 1990s. There was a poster-size photo of him in the funeral home entryway. In it, Chris squatted in a field of wildflowers in Jacksonville. He had long dreadlocks and a huge smile on his face. It was the Chris I knew. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. In the other photos - of him in his Navy uniform and of him in wartime gear - was a Chris I didn't get the chance to know, but whom I admire so very much.
Chris did so much for his country in his short life, but in his death, he didn't ask for much - just for us support the service men and women who made it home but now need our help.
I've started training for the race (a total of 12 miles completed this week) and plan on amping up my fundraising efforts this weekend. I'll start here.
Any donation to Chris' requested charity, the Wounded Warrior Project, is very much appreciated. In return, I'll wear your name on a yellow ribbon on race day. I can promise you that even if my health keeps me from the half marathon, I'll still be out there, running, walking or, if need be, crawling in the 5K.
And thanks. If you'd like to give, but just can't, I'll take donations of good wishes/prayers/good vibes/etc. I'll need them in the weeks of training ahead.