I don’t often post stuff like this, but here goes. As many of you know, i’m a runner. It is new to me, and proves an amazing way to stay sane. Anyway, I’m training for my 5th marathon in November. It has been really hot here recently, and has really affected my training. I’m behind to say the least. I had a 13 mile run scheduled for this morning that I was dreading. Before bed last night, I read something someone wrote that upset me (and this will be the last time I even remotely mention it). I slept in, then proceeded to drag my feet this morning. I was looking for excuses. When I finally headed out the door, I knew I wasn’t going to get 13. Lucky if I got 8. I had my sports drink, and I put $3 in my pocket to stop and get a Strawberry Lemonade Gatorade at a local 7-11 that is at the 7 mile mark. I was running, focusing on all my body parts that are sore, focused on how it was getting warmer. Bummed that I didn’t have Major. Getting more miserable along the way. I hit the 7-11 and knew if I just bagged it, I could run home with my 8ish miles.

I bought a song on iTunes a week or so ago, to add to my running playlist. I always set my playlist to random, and it hadn’t come on yet, but as I left 7-11, resigned and defeated, it came on. And I listened. And I perked up a little more. And I turned it up. And I got lighter. And I got faster. And I started heading off in the opposite direction.

Along the way I realized that nothing can hold me down. 5 years ago I was defeated. I was resigned to a different life. I had a heart attack, and still wasn’t able to knock smoking. I had people that believed in me, but I wasn’t one. My wife, my mom, my kids, a few friends. But what did they know? And then my daughter got sick. Our lives changed. They had to. I don’t wish that on anyone. But since it happened, changes needed to be made. After all, this wasn’t about me, this was about her. Our family. It was WAY bigger than me.

Since that day, I have quit smoking. And like I mentioned, I’m not training for my 1st marathon. I’m training for my fifth. I don’t lose if I don’t finish. I win because I show up on race day. This one little run became so much bigger then I had ever hoped.

I have surrounded myself with amazing people. To my wife, who never stopped believing, thank you. To my mom, well, hell, you inspire me. To my kids, you are my heroes. I so want to be like you when I grow up. To Crystal, Johanna, Stef, Ashley, Tracy and the rest of the Canine Hope team, you have done more for my family than I can ever thank you for. To Tommy, you are always right there, sitting next to me in jail if that’s what it takes. To Rob and Pat, your family keeps pushing, and knowing you are rooting for me keeps me pushing. To Dorrie and Luke, I wouldn’t be surprised if your family finds the cure, thank you for all you do. To the other amazing Canine Hope families, you make me want to keep doing this, no matter what the critics (and there are many) say. Gonzo, Adele, Valerie, Michelle, and everyone else, we really could take over the world you know…

All this from a song? No, not really. It was there all along. But I really feel myself being pulled in a different direction. I don’t know where I’m headed yet, but I’m finally ready to say “Let’s Do This”… We’re gonna have to put our hands up. This ceiling can’t hold us…

And yes, I got my 13 miles. And I did it under 2 hours.

Team Blackdogsrule

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1 Comment

  1. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    You are such an inspiration! There are days, I think, that we all want to give up, yet this amazing organization, Canine HOPE for Diabetics, urges many of us to keep pushing forward, and keep fighting! Each time a newly diagnosed (or sometimes not so new) diabetic joins our ever-growing Canine Hope family, I am motivated to keep going. You ALL inspire me!! It would be so easy to give up and just let T1 take over, however, as long as I’m able to look into the eyes of these heroes like Stella, Little Luke, Amanda, Matthew, Sarah, Grace, JoJo, Sammy, Stevie, Carsen, Jaida, Adam, Camden, Talan, Taylor, Molly, Savannah, Briana, Joey, Quinn, Lydia, Kerstyn, Riley, Big Luke, and our adult T1 friends Valerie, Lori, Nancy, and Jaye (and all the others I meet so often), I’m reminded of all the reasons this organization was founded and why I so desperately want to always be a part of it.
    Thank you Frank for being the voice of so many, and thanks to ALL of you for holding a piece of my heart.