I Said I Would… #IWILL #Miles4Miles

It’s Saturday and around these parts, college football is at the forefront of the majority of the minds of everyone in Alabama.

Not me.  Today I keep thinking about “that” phone call.  That one Saturday phone call that, literally, brought me to my knees with three words.  I thought I had “dealt” with it.  But in the privacy of my solitude, that one phone call changed my life completely.  I will never be the same.

Photo Oct 23, 7 04 29 PMIf you know me or you’ve read my blog over the years then you know I’d loved me some Miles Thompson Blackwell.  It was a Saturday, December 10, 2011 (I can hardly type the words) that he transcended into heaven at the age of sixteen.  Devastated is not the word to describe how I feltPhoto Mar 11, 6 26 18 PM.  Miles is the son of a very dear and beloved friend of mine and to be so close to the situation nearly killed me.  When I realized if I tried to go to heaven with him, Miles would probably send me right back and say, “Ms. Tasha, now you know you are supposed to be down there teaching some dances or something.” 🙂 And, in those moments of remembering him, his smile and the faith and perseverance of my friend, I found God in a new way.  

And running.

See, Miles was a runner.  Not JUST a runner.  That boy was fierce.  And he took it very seriously.  I remember being at the house many of Saturday mornings when he would leave out and my friend would pray over him, I’d give him a fist bump and he would lPhoto Dec 12, 3 15 22 PMeave to go get first place (because, as the shirt of mine he loved the most said, “NO ONE trains to be runner up”). I thought the both of them were crazy.  Who in the hades runs like that ON PURPOSE? She, now retired military, is a runner deep down in her heart.  While it was part of her job, she ran long before she had to and comes from a family of runners.  Her husband is a runner.  I would look at them and go “WHAT?!?!” and then, “WHY?!?!?! And so it struck me even harder when I realized Miles left this earth on the same morning the Huntsville Marathon was being held on the other side of town.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do.  I would run the 2012 Huntsville Marathon in honor of him.  I am the person who remembers EVERYTHING and the LAST thing I wanted to do was sit at home on that day and cry my eyes out with memories.  I wanted to be doing something productive.  I’d get his track team involved.  We’d raise money.  We’d have t-shirts made.  There was just one little detail that I failed to take into account.

I had never run more than 3 miles in my life.

Photo Nov 10, 6 15 35 AMLet’s just say with the logistics (the track team couldn’t run pieces of it with me without registering, lots of other events came into play, I got injured, depressed, etc.), life went on.  But, as the time drew near, I knew I had to do something.  I ran my first half-marathon in November, 2012 with my Miles bracelet on my arm.  I got extremely sick afterwards, thanked God that I finished in an upright position and swore I would never run another one again.

Photo Nov 11, 6 40 52 PM

Well…….

I can’t believe I’m doing this…….

But I want to finish what I promised.  I promised 26.2 for Miles and I owe him 13.1.  And I found the perfect opportunity.

20130820-1O5A9757-63-(ZF-9259-37316-1-080)I am going to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 4, 2014 with the support of my friends at Under Armour and with my friend Kasey.

Kasey (most of you in blog land know her as Powercakes.  She is an amazing woman!) posted a blog post that stopped my heart. I won’t tell you much about it because I want you to go read it in her own words but I felt her pain (in my own way) and the need to do something, in honor of our friends.  As amazing and fit as she is, she 20130820-1O5A0092-59-(ZF-9259-37316-1-184)admits that she is not a runner so this is definitely a step out of our comfort zones. As sad as I am that we are both in this situation, I have so much gratitude to her for opening herself up to something new and giving me a space to face the grief I sometimes try to hide.  And a HUGE thank you to Under Armour for getting right behind me, before I talked myself out of it and supporting my dreams and goals.  Being an ambassador for them is about more than clothes and shoes.

#IWILL run the rest of my #Miles4Miles.  Here we go.

 

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