the first marathon

One week from today, at the break of dawn the huzband will toe the water’s edge of Resurrection Bay, awaiting the mark that tells him it is time to swim to the start of the ALASKAMAN Extreme Triathlon.  What will follow in the next three, six, ten, up to eighteen hours, will most assuredly challenge every muscle in the huzband’s body as well as his mind!

And all of it is in the name of clean water for Ethiopia.

I was thinking recently of the huzband’s first big race that he trained for in 2009.  I was actually thinking of a picture I had taken of the huzband during one his long training runs and went in search of it in our storage boxes.  It was a bucket list item of his, to run a marathon, and what better marathon than the iconic New York City Marathon!  And if running a marathon isn’t crazy enough, cause really, who in their right mind wants to go through that kind of torture, he decided to do it while raising funds for clean water in Africa with a charity called Team World Vision.  The lofty goal was $1320 dollars; we were a little unsure how we were going to be able to raise this kind of money but we forged full force ahead trusting it was a right and good thing to do.

IMG_5380the huzband training for the 2009 New York City Marathon

Unfortunately, about a month before race day, the huzband had to bow out of running the NYC Marathon due to an injury.  (Enter a dark period of life, but that’s for another day!)  Though disappointing as it was, the light that shined through was we had reached the daunting goal of $1320.  It was beautifully bitter, not being able to run race day, yet thanks to the generosity of so many, we knew that lives were being changed with clean water.

That was the beginning of our relationship with endurance sports, as well as with Team World Vision!  You see, we did not just wake up one day and decide the ALASKAMAN sounded fun or that $41,000 for clean water in Ethiopia was a piece of cake.  Every race has been a part of the journey towards where we are today.

36404223_10155930358170432_8914947574880796672_oso grateful for Little Miller’s & everyone who came out for an ice cream

The huzband did not get to run in 2009, however he did show up the following year, training better, smarter, healthier and ready to run in 2010.  The huzband did not just fundraise some money for Team World Vision, he ended up working for Team World Vision.  He traveled to Rwanda and met one of our sponsored girls.  He saw first hand the power of love, community, and clean water.

What I am trying to get at is the power of one decision, of one Y.E.S.

That picture of the huzband on his training run that I remembered (pictured above) was a reminder to me of where we began.  Little did we know in that moment, that a few years later, the huzband and I would be sitting in our Jeep on a rainy day as I cried, confessing I wanted to run a marathon but was terrified of the training.  (I plead insanity!)  Little did we know in that moment, that a few years later, the huzband would begin the arduous journey to becoming an Ironman (years in training people).  Little did we know in that moment, that a few years later, our home church in Alaska would sponsor over 120 kids from a community in Ethiopia together.  These are just a few moments part of the bigger journey, and this week, this week is not the final destination.   It is a major spot on the roadmap but one day, I will look at a picture of the huzband crossing the finish line, remembering the moments that lead up to that finish, but also remembering the moments that followed because he said Y.E.S.

Remembering that his Y.E.S. brought about change; change in the form of clean water.

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