Running Half a Marathon With a Whole Heart

Running Half a Marathon With a Whole Heart
World Autism Awareness Day April 2, 2012

For the past three years, one of my goals has been to complete a 5K run (3.1 miles) in less than 30 minutes. I have written about that over and over.

Therefore, it may come as a surprise to you that this post is all about running 13.1 miles, and I don’t have my heart set on a specific finish time.

I will be running the 2012 Allstate Life Insurance Boston 13.1 Marathon® on Sunday, September 16, 2012, as part of the Autism Speaks team. When I told my husband that I wanted to do this, he asked, “why run 13.1 miles in Boston when you could do it here in Tallahassee?” It has to be Boston, it has to be September 16, 2012, and it has to be with Autism Speaks because someone I have never met asked me to.

Perhaps these statements …. running 13.1 miles in “whatever time I can do” when my main goal is 3.1 miles in 29:59 or less; traveling to Boston to run because someone I have never met and never verbally spoken to asked me to; running as part of the Autism Speaks team when my child does not have autism …. don’t make much sense.

Here are some of the reasons I said, “this has to happen” when I read Luau’s blog on February 14:

1) Beyond the fact that I had seen some made for tv movies about children with autism and done a little reading, my life had not been directly touched by autism until the day my almost-one-year-old failed most of the indicators for “typical development” on an assessment given by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. No eye contact, no words, no pointing, nothing. Even though Wayne was not diagnosed with any condition on the autism spectrum, I have felt one teeny tiny scintilla of what I hear from my friends and acquaintances who have children with autism. That scintilla is wedged deep within my psyche and even though I have no right to say “I can relate,” …….. I can’t walk away.

2) I have worked for Florida’s State Child Health Insurance Program for 17 years. Our program does not cover autism. Even though I know it’s “just my job” to explain this to families whose child needs far more than the “24 therapy visits in a 60 day period when significant improvement is expected to result,” that are covered, it still breaks my heart to be on the other end of the phone line when they say, “But how will he/she get the intensive, year-round therapy he/she needs?”

3) Because several times a week, I read Diary of a Mom, and am given the gift of Jess’s wisdom, raw candor, and selflessness in sharing her journey (and Luau’s) journey through parenting a “neurotypical” child and a child on the autism spectrum. The only way I know how to pay her back is to try to do something to help her child and other children and adults with autism.

Therefore, I signed on to the Autism Speaks Team knowing that my end of the deal is to raise $500 for Autism Speaks. The good news is I have raised $130.

More good news is that if I accumulate the most or second-to-most comments of everyone participating in this promotion that is hosted by Amanda at Parenting by Dummies, Paula Foster from Moments in Frames will donate a dollar per comment up to $250. Just for your comments!! (This lasts through May 6.)

(ps – if you just want to donate, of course that’s fine too! Click here to be taken to my personal donation link.) [link no longer active – pk]

Running Half a Marathon With a Whole Heart
I am participating in a blogging promotion sponsored by Moments in Frames to help raise money for Autism Speaks. Please help us reach our goal by leaving a comment. Each comment you leave me could earn $1 (up to $250) for Autism Speaks.
Editor’s Notes 7/17/15:
1) I have re-released this blog via an app which reposts older items I have written. The Moments in Frames promotion is over.
2) It is critical to understand that Diary of a Mom’s position on Autism Speaks has changed since April of 2012. Please read the post why I #BoycottAutimSpeaks for her explanation.