About a year ago, I got inspired to create something for St. Jude through my passion for hand lettering. I had a friend who was diagnosed with Hodgkins and had been treated at St. Jude (read more about her here), so I knew firsthand how incredible this company was for children dealing with diseases. After a few conversations, my best friend Tonya and I signed up for the 2018 race, and I got to work on ways I could contribute.
After many hours of concepting letters, I came up with the design for a shirt - “Love Runs the World”. Its meaning was dual-part; because of the love and donations people give, St. Jude can keep its doors open and take care of the sick children at no cost to their family. And it also meant, in a more light-hearted way, “ Love Runs the World” because of the St. Jude marathon runners who dedicate their time to training for the 5k, 10k, half, or full marathon.
Race day came on Saturday, December 1st. Tonya and I had driven down the night before to sleep in Memphis and have a little bit of downtime before we ran the next morning. We were absolutely filled with adrenaline at the start of the race. We hadn’t really taken the time to study the course and its terrain, but around mile 6, my body was starting to ask, “Rosemary, what the ^&* are you doing?!”. I quickly realized I had not at all properly continued training long distances since my last half mid-October, and I definitely hadn’t prepped for those unexpected hills! OUCH!
But, guys, do you know what? Tonya and I ran the entire course non-stop. What encouraged us to not give up? Well, having each other as accountability partners was huge, but the main reason was running through St. Jude’s campus and seeing the children with signs encouraging us and cheering in whatever capacity they could.
The children were outside- with their masks, their oxygen tanks, their wheelchairs - holding signs for US. I knew that if these children could do that for us, I could definitely run this race for them. To say that those hours were emotional is a huge understatement.
Physically, emotionally, mentally.. there were so many challenges. But I’d do it all again (and I plan to!) to help those children win THEIR race.
Thank you all, again, for your support for these children. Every shirt purchased helped a St. Jude child, and every kind comment and word of encouragement helped me along the race, too.
Let’s all remember we’ve all got something to race for, and we can cross the finish line if we don’t give up.
So what’s your race for 2019? What’s going to get you to the finish line?