Thursday, March 29, 2012

Unless Someone Like You Cares A Whole Awful Lot...

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not. ~ Dr. Seuss

As we look for our inspirations in 2012, I would like to tell you about my inspirations this year. Yes, my sisters Charmaine and Julie will always inspire me as well as my good friend Noreen but this year I want to tell you about three inspirations that have motivated me since before 2010 and the race: My F.A.B. 5k Team.

KELLY: She inspires me to be a better a runner. She checks in on me when I am missing my early morning runs. Makes sure I know when they are heading out at 515a (yes like most children the F.A.B. 5k was born at an ungodly hour) so that I don’t miss out. Gets me a new pair of socks to keep me running in the winter and shares her wisdom to keep me interested in the sport. These are the things she does for the F.A.B. 5k. She makes sure we are on task with our goals and plans. Double checks everything to make sure we are doing it the best we can; she dots the “i”s when maybe I forgot to cross the “t”s. When I need a little boost to get motivated again Kelly unknowingly sends an email that re-inspires me.

LESLEY: She inspires my momentum for running. She gets my heart rate up when she is talking about a passionate subject because she can’t help herself and I pant along trying to keep up so I can hear how the story ends. When I get behind she is always sure to check that I am still there, even if it is several blocks behind. She always makes me laugh especially with her traveling stories. Lesley gets the F.A.B. 5k up to speed especially when she has something exciting to tell us. She lightens the mood when things get tense. She offers to help when one of us might be struggling with a task. When Lesley is excited she inspires all of us to be excited.

MELANIE: Melanie inspires me to keep going especially when it feels too hard. We’ve suffered injuries on the running track at the same time. Hers being far more serious than mine kept me motivated because she kept moving. We have both recovered and can’t stop. Doctors have told us to take it easy but we can’t, we are runners and we keep moving. Melanie and I are kindred spirits having only started our friendship and running partnership right before our lives were turned upside down by the passing of my sister and her mother only days apart from one another. Sometimes, I think our friendship had a divine intervention. I enjoy sharing the positive and fulfilling cathartic journey of the F.A.B. 5k planning with Melanie. Her mother’s battle and my sister’s struggle with breast cancer will not be in vain because we keep moving. We are runners and thats what we do: keep moving.

I would be remiss if I also did not mention our husbands and our children as inspirations as well. These men & children know where they will be every second weekend in June. They are as dedicated as their wives and mothers and help out whenever possible and are the best cheerleaders when we need them. Our F.A.B. 5k team would not be complete without the love and support of Eric, Brian, Todd and Kevin and the helping hands and hearts of Owen, Finely, Jack, Charlie, Danny, Tyler, Reese, Hannah and Sammie.

My F.A.B. 5k Team inspires because simply they do care; they care a “whole awful lot.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting the word out....

Last week was my annual mammogram. For better or worse, my OB/GYN recommended annual exams due to my Mom’s history of breast cancer occurrences. Stepping into the imaging machine, helps to remind me why we work so hard on the F.A.B. 5k. It is so that at some point in the future, those women receiving calls with questionable results after a week or two of their mammograms know that their problem is solvable and all will be well. I truly hope it is in our lifetime.

The F.A.B. 5K Team has been working diligently over the last few winter months. Registration is open; our fliers are being printed; the 2012 T-shirt is designed and recruitment of sponsors is in full swing! Our goal this year is continue to grow the race while maintaining the same level of quality and meaning this event has for us. This year we are adding some enhancements - the first 400 participants will receive T-shirts and we are adding race timing. We have a few more things in the works, too!

So, friends, I have a favor to ask of you. We are at the point in our planning where we need to kick the publicity into high gear. Can you help us get the word out? Send the link to our online registration ( to your group of friends and family – who cares if they run or walk - an invitation is all it takes to do something beyond our normal boundaries. Post something on your twitter feed or facebook that you will be joining us on June 10th and you want to help make an impact. Extend those invites and we want to hear the stories of who you were able to convince to toe the line on June 10th!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich"

"Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich."
— Sarah Bernhardt

I love this quote. Whenever I need a "pick me up", this quote helps. I have it in my arsenal, but haven't seen it in awhile. It came across in an email to me this morning. Is it coincidental that it was the same day I needed to publish a blog post? I wonder. Ever since the first F.A.B. 5k, my life has been full of these happenstance instances. Almost two years ago to the day, the idea of the F.A.B. 5k was born.

In less than 3 months following Barb and Charmaine's deaths in 2010, an event that drew 350 people and raised over $15,000 for Sarah's charity of choice (The BCRF) came to fruition. Kind people offered time, money, and resources in an effort to show their love and support to Sarah's, Barb's, Charmaine's, Kelly's, and my families. Not to mention all those in similar circumstances that came out to "feel the love". Girls Scouts and Daisy troops offered to have a lemonade stand and memory wall at the finish line. The Indian Guide's head Chief asked all his little Indian Guides to come out and walk. He provided all of them with a patch for their efforts. How great is that?! Then, there's the white dove (and I am not kidding - I have witnesses) sitting on the side of the road as the four of us drove our car around the course at daybreak to put up inspirational signs and mile markers on race day. The dove sat calmly watching us as if to say, "You're doing the right thing, it will be fine". What about the storm that rolled in literally 10 minutes after we wrapped up? Not just any little storm, but one of those fierce, quick storms that makes sure you're paying attention. It held off until the perfect time. Everything in the world told us that this would not be the only F.A.B. 5k.

Last year, as we started to be concerned about whether we could have the same kind of success, companies like Wright Sock offered to help provide socks to participants. People didn't just offer to sponsor, but offered two-fold of what we were expecting. Some provided raffle prizes without being asked. Potential participants started contacting us to ask if they could form teams and raise MORE money! Someone took Sarah's story and spent hours creating a beautiful painting, and just offered it (called me up and said, "I'm doing this") as a silent auction item. The race happened to fall on what would have been Sarah's 40th birthday. Over $21,000 went to The BCRF and we had 500+ participants and over 100 volunteers.

Is it coincidental that registration opened today, in the very week that will mark the anniversary of Barb and Charmaine's passing? I swear it wasn't planned. We were supposed to open a bit earlier, but it was delayed. Or, that after a recent meeting where we discussed how we're going to continue to exceed what we've done in the last two years, a seemingly impossible feat, we get good news from two past sponsors?

Something is driving this and it isn't the four of us. Four people alone cannot do this. It takes hundreds of people. Willing, loving, and very kind people. Every time I come around a bend, something falls into place that tells me this is the right thing to do. There is an energy that drives this event. It's love, passion, kindness, the memories and spirits of Sarah, Barb, Charmaine, all of our inspirations, and others' inspirations.

This is an exciting and stressful time for me. I want to do better than the last two years. I want people to participate and volunteer. I want people to enjoy themselves. I want the momentum to continue. I want our money to be the money that causes a scientist to discover the right drugs, treatment, and cure. There are a lot of things out of our control when it comes to breast cancer. But we can create an event that's driven by positive energy of people who want to do what they can in the face of something that seems so out of control. The energy and time the four of us have spent on the F.A.B. 5k is one of the richest blessings I will ever encounter. That's why I'm doing it again. I hope you'll come be a part of the energy this year.