I was up with almost everyone else in Northern California at 3:20 am on August 24th. The earthquake rolled & shook that early Sunday morning for over 20 seconds…a very long time to experience a quake of that magnitude. I had been fretting almost the entire night with pre-race jitters so the quake hit while I was awake & wondering if I could cross that finish line. The electricity went out about 5 minutes later and in the dark I tried to find a flashlight. I lit candles and heated some water so I could make coffee. Quite impressed with my home-camping skills, I felt like everything would be okay.
That is until I realized I would not be able to get my car out of my garage. I remember wondering if this anxiety before a race was normal…That sinking feeling that I wouldn’t make the trip. And then it hit me, square in the heart! Other people in Napa had just lost their homes in a fire in Napa ~ And here I was worrying about a race, about myself. I decided to stand on my own two feet and get going…so to speak.
I realized if this half-marathon challenge was meant to be, it would happen. I opened up to absolute & complete blind faith. I prepared by getting ready. Stretching exercises, water in containers, & those dried cranberries. My hands were shaking as I put them into a tiny zip-loc bag into a little pouch. It was 5:30 am & still without power, I sat in the dark and went through the 13.1 miles in my head. I know I can run 8.5 miles…I hope I can run the entire distance; I hope the people in Napa are okay. I thought of the free local clinics CWOB holds there & all of those amazing people who bring their companion animals for wellness.
Just then at 5:45 am, when I wanted to leave home, the power came back on. I smiled and got up. Still shaking, I got into my car and drove to Santa Rosa. I parked and could not get out of the car. I thought of the $900+ dollars raised for this run and I hoped that I could find the courage to open the car door. I saw two women walking and joined them striking up a good conversation. They were sisters from L.A. and they were full of encouragement & support. They gave me pointers & tips & surrounded me in love.
The race began shortly thereafter and crossing the start line, I held hope in my heart that I could cross the finish line as well. 2 hours and 39 minutes later, I was back – crossing that finish line with the biggest smile on my face. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life; to set a goal, to become determined, to learn dedication and how to reach out to others to fulfill a goal to save animals in need. It was amazing!!
The CWOB team is now preparing to send 34 dogs to Minnesota in a few weeks. The $900+ dollars will cover the travel costs for 9 dogs. That’s 9 lives saved and heading out to find a new life that wouldn’t have had a chance otherwise…And believe it or not, that’s just the way I feel as well.
Working & volunteering with CWOB, you discover how amazing this team of individuals really are. Christi, Moncho, Diego (their son) & Jordan all showed up at the finish line to cheer me on. They teach me daily about compassion, about hope, about happiness which grows from saving & improving the lives of animals. I’m so deeply grateful to have had this experience. Thank you so much for your support for my Run for Compassion…and thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you.