Running used to appear on my to-do list somewhere after "read the dictionary" and before "get a lobotomy." Now I'm training for my first marathon -- the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon. Previously, my longest run of all time was somewhere around 3 miles.
I recruited 29 AOL'ers from across four offices within the U.S. and our training began. Some of these runners knew Rory, knew of Rory or didn't know him at all -- yet they were all committed to putting a lot of their personal life on hold to run this race for a great cause.
Most companies fail. Whether you win or lose you will put in 18 hour days, seven days a week, for the first year or two. But you will build a support network of experts and advisors who have run this way before. They will help you stay in the race.
I didn't want to run a marathon again. I had already run the New York City Marathon three times, and I felt like I had gotten what I needed from it. I'd had an amazing experience each year I'd run, and my times had gotten better with each race. I was happy with that.
I live with a lung disease. A disease that is supposed to diminish my lungs over time. I'm aware of all of that. And that's exactly why I run; to celebrate, and there is no better way to celebrate life than going out there and running the New York City marathon.
While our runners have been stretching, training, and psyching themselves up for this enormous challenge, the team at Born This Way Foundation has been inspired to think more critically about the intersections of mental and physical health.
Where I had run the days before the earthquake, there were now dead people in the street. Houses were crushed. The air was dense with dust. It was hard; so many people had lost their lives. But life had to go on.
It was the coming together of circumstances. It was three kinds of home. My home, NYC, my husband's home, Massachusetts, and Sanctuary, a home for families, people I've met and listened to their testimonies.
Three years ago I signed up to run my first marathon, the world's largest in New York City. It had been 10 years since I had run regularly. I was intimidated, scared of not being able to finish; scared to fail.
Last Friday, as many wrestled with the idea of running the NYC Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I submitted a proposal asking that people use Charity Miles to join the marathon from afar, even if only for a few miles.
In just hours, social media had made it possible for us to attract interested people, share logistical details, determine their participation and what they could bring, and let them download the precise routes that they would run.
New Yorkers have made an art out of running. From running up bar tabs to running down pedestrians; from running into ex-boyfriends to running out of patience. But the decision to run or not to run the Marathon -- that was the question.
This was my own personal dream and one I'm not sure now will ever come true. However, had the marathon not been canceled, I am certain I would not have run. How could I face my community and my family and proudly say I ran in the 2012 NYC Marathon?
Why is okay for the professional sports players to play on Sunday, but not the average person who has trained hard and is getting paid nothing? Why do average people have to make the donations and sacrifices, while the professionals don't?