One of the true pleasures of having my business is hearing stories of everyday people doing incredible things: walking 26.2 miles, running 5Ks in honor of someone, doing a triathlon for the first time, just to mention a few.
After hearing my story at an event of how I started Banana Blossom Press, Beth Roberts introduced herself and proceeded to tell me about a friend she had lost to cancer. Here was a total stranger, telling me something so important and personal to her, it made us both tear up. It was yet another example of how running made a difference in her life and how it connected the two of us.
A friend’s life, honored Three years ago, one of my best friends passed away from cancer. I felt powerless and decided that I wanted to do something that would help me deal with the loss. I decided to run the San Diego Marathon in her memory. During every training run, I talked with her in my head. I thought about her and I cried. All of it helped me say goodbye. For the race, I made up mini-moo cards (really tiny cards) that had her photo (on left) and information about her on the back. There was also an email address listed and I asked people to write if they or a loved one were dealing cancer. After the race, I sent all the emails, my medal, and my finisher's shirt to my friend's daughter.
Life lessons in running I decided to run my first marathon after watching a good friend of mine, Holly, finish a half marathon in Kirkland. I was so proud of her, I started to cry. I wanted to be that proud of myself! I decided to sign up for the Portland Marathon. My friend, Holly, was now living in Nashville, but said that she wanted to fly in and run the last 13 miles with me. I had no idea how much of a gift that would be.
"Light post to light post, she helped me get across the finish line."
Since then, Holly and I have done several more marathons together. Holly signed up for the PF Chang's Rock 'n Roll Arizona Marathon. I was with her for the last 10 to help her fight it out. Holly flew to Seattle for the Rock 'n Roll Seattle and I was right by her side for the last half. In San Diego, it was Holly waiting for me and then encouraging me to the finish.
These were amazing experiences for me and provide huge life lessons. There are times when life seems too hard to go on, but light post to light post we go. And how incredible to know that I have someone beside me, encouraging me, who won't leave my side until I succeed. Or to be the person encouraging. Sometimes the biggest reward is not in focusing on ourselves, but in making sure that someone else achieves their goal. That's an incredible feeling!
Beth holds up her hardware with friends (Holly is to her right)
who helped her get to the finish line at the Rock 'n Roll San Diego Marathon
"Sometimes the biggest reward is not in focusing on ourselves, but in making sure that someone else achieves their goal. That's an incredible feeling!"
"I may not be fast, but that doesn't matter" I've always been active, but I don't think I would say that I was an athlete. I was on the cross country team in high school, but I'd have to ask them to leave the cones down until I had passed. They'd think that everyone was finished!
For running newbies (or not so new), Beth says... It's tough! I would say find a person to train with. It's easy to let ourselves down. We have too much going on to go out on that run or make it to the gym. But, if someone else is counting on us, we'll be more than likely stick to the commitment.
"My husband is really awesome" When I'm getting into the long runs, he takes the kids out somewhere. Then, I can come home, take a shower, and crawl in bed. I'm a mom of three busy kids. Being able to crawl in bed without someone asking for something is like the ultimate luxury!
Next le marathon? I would love to run the Paris Marathon. I think looking at the streets of Paris would be incredible during the marathon.
Beth along with her husband, Ray Roberts, recently founded Simplicity Lifestyle Management, a personal assistant/concierge company serving the Greater Seattle and Eastside area.
Simplicity can help, so you can focus My husband played professional football for 10 years. He played here in Seattle with the Seahawks and with the Detroit Lions. During that time, I handled all the logistics of moving twice a year. I had two (now three) kids, a dog, and a cat. It would have been nice to have had an extra hand at times.
That's the premise behind our company. There are times that people really need someone to help. We currently have busy executives that work a ton of hours and just need help with the responsibilities of running a household. We also have cancer patients that need help maintaining their households, but also help organizing the mounts of material they receive and the piles of bills that stack up. We help with those things so that they can focus on what's important...healing, family, whatever.