Six months ago I thought I would be running a marathon on Nov. 19. Three months ago I realized a half-marathon was more likely. Now it’s clear that I will be walking much of the 5K as Team Callie takes part in the North Carolina Marathon to raise money for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) research two weeks from today.
These shrinking goals have fed a growing sense of failure. I’ve wondered why it’s so hard to go out and run a few times a week. Can’t I do that for Callie and the thousands of other children who live with SMA?
It sounds easy enough. But I have not done it. There are reasons. The physical and emotional energy Callie’s care requires takes its toll on our family every day. We’ve been overwhelmed. We’ve been sad. Callie’s not a baby anymore. It’s more obvious to others — and now to her — that she’s different. She’s still losing abilities. Now she’s losing her head control. We’re always tired.
But that’s life, and I should be able to deal with it and make this happen, I’ve thought as each day has passed without me making it happen.
Christy and I were talking about this the other day and we realized something incredible. As my sense of personal failure has grown, Team Callie has grown from 1 person to about 30 people. Team members have been training for months and raising money for SMA research – more than we could ever hope to raise alone. Because of the team, more people know about SMA today than yesterday.
I wish I had done better, but Team Callie’s accomplishments have helped me remember that this project never was about me, whether I run 2 miles, 13.1 or 26.2. It’s about Callie and everyone else with SMA. It’s about the support that comes from family, friends and anyone else who’s willing to walk, jog, run and ask for money for a cause. Thank you, Team Callie.