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Long May You Run


If you’ve read this blog before, you know I have a few favorite topics—practice development, growth of the massage and bodywork field, music, my family, my semi-athletic endeavors, the inexorable march of time and its impact on my general fitness, to name a few.


Well, one of those topics is about to take center stage in my life for the next six months—and as a result, your reading. Actually, my family always has center stage, but besides that.


In September, my friends at the Massage Therapy Foundation let me know that they were the fortunate recipients of three bibs for the 2013 Boston Marathon, through the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program (let’s call it the JHNPMP). This program provides runners’ bibs for the Boston Marathon to interested and qualified non-profits as a means to raise funds for their organizations. This is no small thing—the Boston Marathon is THE marathon, and you don’t just “sign up.” Boston has a qualifying standard based on your age. For runners, running Boston is likely first on the bucket list. And for runners like me, who won’t/can’t qualify (for my age, I would need to run a marathon before then in 3 hours and 25 minutes—or 29 minutes quicker than my fastest and last marathon, run in 2005), the JHNPMP is a gateway to run the Boston Marathon.


The MTF is interested in raising money through the JHNPMP and needs willing participants. I am a flabby, formerly competitive runner who is in need of motivation.


Hand, meet glove. I am now in training for the Boston Marathon. I have lots of inspirations for wanting to do this: my late uncle, Jim Forrest, ran Boston in the early 70s, and was an inspiration early in my running career. My mom was my No. 1 cheerleader (ably assisted by my sister Mary) when I ran competitively in high school, and is never far from my mind whenever I am at a starting line. And I do it because of this quote, most recently featured on t-shirts from my favorite sports team, the Evergreen High School cross country team:


I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me.


Is there a catch in all this? Of course there is a catch. In exchange for accepting the entry bib I have pledged to raise a minimum of $5,000. But to get the most bang for our buck, I have raised the stakes. I have agreed to personally pledge the $5,000, in the form of matching donations. Meaning, I will match any money pledged dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000. So hopefully, that gets us to at least $10,000. The pledging hasn’t started yet; the MTF is in the process of identifying the other two runners. Don’t worry—once all that is set up, I’ll be ringing the pledge bell early and often.


It’s all for the Massage Therapy Foundation, to fund research, community outreach grants, and education. So my part will be training through the winter months (when I typically hibernate and grow my winter coat), running the race on April 15, 2013, and donating up to $5,000. Your part? Hopefully, you’ll be inspired to make a pledge, however small, and join me on a virtual training run (we’ll pick a day when we’ll all go run wherever we are), and keep reading my posts for the next 26 weeks to help me stay motivated.


Don’t get me wrong—this is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I said, “yes,” before Paul Slomski of the Massage Therapy Foundation could even get the question out. But I am realizing that the guy in the picture up there has changed quite a bit in the past 30 years—gravity wins yet again—and doing this requires a commitment of time, attitude, diet (sayonara, French fries), and belief. And I couldn’t be more excited.


Let’s do this.


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