Friday, September 3, 2010

All Together Now

One, two, three, four
Can I run a little more?
five, six, seven eight nine ten miles I love you.

A, B, C, D
Can you run along with me?
E, F, G, H, I, J, I love you.

Boom, bam, boom,
Ooh my hip,
Boom, bam, boom,
There goes my knee,
Boom, bam, boom,
The finish line,
Boom, bam, boom,
Look at me!

All together now, All together now,
All together now, All together now,
All together now, All together now...

I'm a runner. All the signs are there... running shoes littering the garage, worn out 5K race t-shirts in the closet, the occasional aching knees, and the wish that maybe one day the passion to run a marathon will appear.

Sometimes after miles and miles on the road I've wondered why I run. Seriously, why do people purposely leave the comfort of their sofa to find themselves miles from home with only a pair of worn out sneakers to get them back? Perhaps part of the reason is the adventure, part is to lose a few pounds, part is for therapy, or maybe part is also for something much more important. Maybe it's a way to prepare yourself for that noble moment when you decide to sacrifice yourself for the benefit of others.

That special moment came to my nephew and niece earlier this year when they decided to help two girls for whom running is no longer an option. Sure they can run from home plate to first base and maybe from one side of a soccer field to another, but never in a 5K, never in a marathon. You see, while Pompe does not limit their beautiful minds, it does limit their ability to complete some physical activities. Their muscles just are not strong enough and even if they struggled, the pain at the end is not worth it. There are many more ways for them to shine.

Knowing all this, my nephew and niece set off with a goal to raise money for Pompe Disease. They picked a race, started to train, convinced a few family members to join, and set off on their Long and Winding Road to race day. For several months they followed their program, running day after day, while spreading the word about the event. On August 15th, five members of my family ran in the San Diego Half Marathon. For 13.1 miles they ran All Together Now in love for two girls who mean so much to them. The race was a great success with money coming in from California to Pennsylvania to Canada resulting in over $2400 for the AMDA.

So why do I run? For years as I pounded the pavement I was not sure, but now I know. I run for those who can't run because of this crazy disease. And, I run for the hope that maybe one day I too will be prepared to follow in the footsteps of five mighty ones before me who sacrificed themselves for the benefit of others.

We remain All Together Now... All For Two And Two For All!

With eternal thankfulness,
Uncle Matt

Credit to: The Beatles, "All Together Now"

Here's a few photos from the event.

The shirts

The runners showing off their race medals!

The runners and their support team.