Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jenny's Run For Hope

Jenny and I enjoyed spending time together. We did a boot camp 3 times a week at 6 am a few years ago, then once upon a time had memberships to the same gym all BB (before Bowden). We worked out there often together. Once she had gone before me, we passed each other on the road as I was going and I called and convinced her to come back and do a Zumba class with me. She almost passed out because she had already ran and did weights that day. Jenny loved to work out. I did not. I loved spending time with her though. She continued with boot camp with her friend Jenn. I didn't. I was blessed with another baby... and my body changed.

You can read about that here. That link documents the surgery I had almost a year ago. Until then, I really couldn't run. Or if I did.... whatever. Read the link.

In February I decided that I wanted to start running again. I felt like I should have been truly healed and wanted to start running with Jenny so that we could RUN with our husbands in their 10 k's or races together. On my birthday, I went to get my running shoes. My birthday is February 3rd. MOST of you know what happened next. The very next day I was standing beside my friend, telling her to GET OUT of that bed! I had new shoes that needed to be worked in! She needed to get out of that bed and train my butt into gear! We laughed. I always could make her laugh. She used her fingers to make the running motion and pointed to her then to me. Talking was so hard for her. I shook my head, and assured her we would definitely be running.

When her legs were amputated, I thought that would give me a bit of a head start! She was in such good shape. This way, I could start training and by the time she got her new legs, we could be on level playing field. I joked with her about that.

I would go to my MIL's house and run on her treadmill. It was so cold this February. I would start out walking. Walking fast. I would cry. I would convince myself to run. I would seriously almost pass out. Then I would walk. I did this over and over. I would text David every time I ran letting him know I was running for Jenny.

I told Jenny we were going to run. I wrote this on her Facebook page the day after she died.

So, I can't go to sleep with out telling you. I ran today. For you. I almost passed out, but I did it. I ran 1 mile. Okay, I lied. I ran 3/4 of a mile and had to walk a 1/4, but hey, it is a start in those new shoes I was telling you about. I told you we would run in these 5K's with our husbands, and it just may take me longer than it would have you, but WE will do this together.

I wrote this on Feb. 27th.

Today, well, I wondered what will happen when David takes down this Facebook page, so I decided I will send you peptalks through my blog. You know these are healing for me, right? Today, I made graphics for our husbands (and Brandon) for shirts they will wear tomorrow in the Cowtown 10K, I think. GIRL, I don't get all ...the half this and K that. They are just running far. I better get to know what all those numbers mean! ANYWAY, the shirts say RUNNING FOR JENNY and Mighty to Save on the back. Although we only made 3 for them, I think I will get a few made for me so that I can wear them when I do my thing for you! BUT, I better change mine to say: Walk/Run (trying not to pass out) for Jenny! I know you can see and hear all the amazing lives you truly changed. Thank you friend.

I kept up the runnings. I would cry, scream, praise, and sing during my runs. The Lord has taught me so much through those runs.
March 5th:

GIRL! I did it! I ran 1 mile without STOPPING today FOR YOU! I had Emaline stand beside me cheering me on, yelling : YOU CAN DO IT MOMMY! I kind of told her to yell it at me, but hey, it got me to finish. My legs hurt. I miss you. I'm sitting here watching GH for the first time in over a month. The new intro is different, interesting, not sure how I feel about it. Going to bed early tonight friend. My weekends are different without you in them. Plus that mile, shewww, how do I think I can do a 5K which is obviously more than 1 mile? Our boys are running like 8 or 10 miles in the morning. They are nuts. Starting my garden tomorrow! Let's see how long I can keep it up!

Friday night, the night before the race... I went to sleep. I was so blessed that night. You see, since Jenny died I have asked to see her. I so wanted to dream about her, or actually, I wanted to see her! I have heard about people seeing and experiencing visions from those they have loved. I wanted that. While I was asleep, I had a dream with Jenny. I was walking up to register for the race, it was a long walk. There were banners on each side of me. I walked right up the registration table where a man asked me my name. I was frozen. I just looked at him as tears flooded my cheeks. I looked to my right, and there she was. She was bent over on her knee, think running position. She had on a white tank top, her gray capri yoga pants, and her hair was pulled back into a pony with her trademark banks in the front. Her hair was longer than I remember. I said, "it's YOU!" She smiled and looked right into my eyes and said, " I will be cheering you on!" I again came up with- "it's you!" She again said, "I am going to be cheering you on!" The she nodded her head towards the man at the table, smiled a smirk, and said "Go on!" I woke up. I hit Stacey across the chest and pretty much cried for the next hour as he let me retell him over and over the dream. I was frozen in the bed. He asked me if I wanted to go back to sleep to see her again, and you know I didn't. I knew that was a gift. I loved it. It was just for me.
So, I was ready for the run! She was cheering me on!

SO, on April 17th I had the honor to participate in Jenny's Run for Hope. It was a crazy day. We had soccer, Dance recital pictures, BOTH in the morning, and then throw in B. I knew I had to do it. God worked it ALL OUT! An incredible friend volunteered to take E to her dance pictures. I went on to the race. Stacey called and said the game had been canceled due to the rain and he was coming with the boys. Joel hung out with the boys at the bounce house so we both got to run for Jenny. This first picture was taken before the race. Notice our smiles.

See my friend in the green? That is my friend Stephanie. Stephanie and I are part of an accountability group, and have been for about 6 years!!! She and Jenny were great buds. They experienced much life and greater loss together. They both suffered miscarriages, many. Stephanie runs almost every day. I called and asked her if she would RUN with me. She agreed. She really kicked my butt. She made me run faster than I really wanted to go. TOO FAST! We talked, we secretly cried. I say secretly, because neither one of us have actually talked about it, but I was crying and running the last mile, and my breathing pattern changed. FROM WHAT I COULD tell, without looking at her, her breathing pattern changed too, and it sounded a lot like mine! SO, we were both crying... I think. When I would cross David, or Stacey, or Brandon (their running partner) they would always come over and give me a high five and encourage me. They knew my running journey. Many of you!! YES YOU!!! as you passed me would turn around and encourage me! THANK YOU!!! I really wanted to stop at mile 2. I really did. Then I thought of my dream. SHE WAS CHEERING ME ON! I couldn't stop! We were almost to the end, when I looked up and saw Stacey, with the stroller with B, and Parker was running towards me. They finished the race with me and Stephanie. As I hit the track, I started sprinting! I couldn't help it! We were so close to the end! As soon as I crossed I just bent over and cried. I knew she was cheering me on! I didn't stop one time! David gave me a huge bear hug when I finished. I got an incredible hug from Beverly! It was wonderful. I finished in 34:28!!!!
All of the photos are courtesy of the photographers that lined the route. I asked one of the ladies to take these two, me and Steph, and me and Stacey.

I dressed this last one up a bit. Now, I am on a journey. I am going to continue to run for my friend! I told her I was going to, so I am!

I enjoy running for Jenny, not running, but running for Jenny. I am going to start a Facebook Fan Page so we all can encourage each other- CHEERING YOU ON! We can list local runs to participate in and rejoice with others what the Lord is teaching them during this journey! Thank you for CHEERING ME ON!


anne said...

I am so proud of you! You are an amazing woman.

Doug said...

How inspiring! Enjoy the journey! I will always be cheering you on.


Brooks Inc. said...

Paige...just beautiful! May the Lord continue to bless you during your runs. Love you and continue to pray for you as you walk (Or run) this road! Thanks for sharing your life~

Rachel said...


Felicia said...

Paige, you never cease to amaze me! Or should I say "God never ceases to amaze me through you!" I sit here with tears running down my face as I read this post! I am so encouraged by reading your way of processing the lost of Jenny, a dear friend to you. God is written all over this and I love it! You are a dear friend to me and I miss seeing you and your family!

Heather said...

Wow Paige! I am sitting here sobbing after reading this post. I know that you and I really haven't got the chance to know each other very well but I want you to know what an amazing friend you are to Jenny. She is Smiling down so big at you right now. You are doing such an amazing thing with your running, and inspiring so many people. Keep on running for Jenny, we will all always be cheering you on. God Bless, Heather Bell