A few months ago I introduced my readers to Elizabeth Elder and how her journey of self-discovery and acceptance in the midst of raising kids with special needs inspired her to run a marathon. You can read that original post by clicking here to learn more about Elizabeth’s story.
After just a few months of training in the heat and humidity of a record-breaking Houston summer, this Sunday, November 1, Elizabeth will tackle the NYC Marathon in honor of her children Blaire and Annabelle. She is also raising awareness and funds for Achilles International, an organization that enables people of all ages with disabilities to participate in athletic events. Here is the latest from Elizabeth:
Hard to believe, but the countdown is officially on…. 4 days until I cross the finish line in NYC! First of all, I just want to thank all of you for your support and words of encouragement. I can’t tell you how much that has fueled me throughout my training! I recently ran my peak run of 23 miles and felt great! I am feeling confident and able to now focus on the last minute (fabulous) details!
As you may recall, I originally pledged $3,000, but because of YOU, we blew right past that and now have $16,000 on the horizon!!! OMGGM (Oh my goodness grateful me)! Now for the fun part, you know I can’t resist adding a little extra flair! During my training, I relied so much on what became my mantra “I CAN and I WILL” that I decided it would be neat to have the words “I CAN” on the top of my left hand and the words “I WILL” on the top of my right hand so I could have my own little inspirational words right there when I needed them. Only problem is even a brand new black sharpie wouldn’t outlive 5 hours of blood (hope not), sweat, and tears of joy. So I needed tattoos (take a breath, Mom. They’re temporary). Long story short, I now have 500 sets of “I CAN” and “I WILL.”
What to do with 500 sets of tattoos? I’m giving them to other Achilles athletes and supporters to wear with me on November 1st. Arms crossed over the chest is an international symbol of love. It’s also how Annabelle and Blair first learned to say “I Love You.” With tattoos in place, and arms crossed, we can share the lesson I have learned…. Say “I CAN” and you inspire yourself. Say “I WILL” and you inspire others.
Once again, thank you for being in my corner. My family is truly blessed to have such an amazing, strong, beautiful group of people cheering us on!
I and a group of courageous moms from Elizabeth’s Tuesday morning parent connection will be sporting our “I can” and “I will” tattoos on Sunday while we use technology to track Elizabeth on her 26.2 mile journey. If you want to track her progress along with us, here is a link explaining how you can download the NYC Marathon runner tracking app.
I hope my readers will join me in wishing her well and prayers for a successful journey, both physically and emotionally. You can learn more about Achilles International, a charity for children with disabilities and war veterans, here: Achilles International
Enduring God, Bless Elizabeth and the whole Elder family on their journey. For Elizabeth, and all parents running their own personal marathon with special needs, offer your strength when there is fatigue, guidance when the way is unclear, and hope in all things. We can and we will, because through you all things are possible. Amen