Risk Saying YES!

Two years ago, my track & cross country career had ended in stress fractures and a broken heart. It was Spring Break 2015 and instead of competing in California with the Bethel team, I was crying on an elliptical in the Oconomowoc, WI YMCA…

There, I took a small step that would change my life forever and I’m so glad I did.

I have a tendency to be incredibly impulsive in my actions. I plan meticulously for many situations, and the plan just gets chucked out the window. Ask me sometime to tell you more stories about the results of my impulsivity- I’ve got a whole library of ’em. One of my favorite impulsive decisions was the one I made while losing it on that elliptical; I signed up for a marathon with Team World Vision.

Most people who come to run with Team World Vision haven’t run before- more than 80%, actually. I’m in the 20% who’ve run before; in fact, this fall marks the 20th anniversary of my first 5K finish! At the time when I said yes to Team World Vision, I hadn’t run farther than 200 meters in months and I had stress fractures in both of my lower legs. A stress fracture is an injury that results from overuse or misuse of a body part in movement over time- I had tiny (but painful) breaks going part of the way through my left tibia (shin bone) near the inside of my ankle and part of the way through my right tibia about halfway up my shin.  While I wasn’t able to run the marathon that year (or in 2016), taking the tiny step to say yes to a marathon (not much of a stretch for me) and to serving children in need of clean water by fundraising (more of a stretch for me) set my life on a radically different trajectory.

Since that first ‘Yes!’ I’ve said it many times again- asking a friend from high school to donate to give clean water, embarking on a 12-mile training run outdoors, saying yes to a third shot at the marathon on the night I found out I likely had multiple sclerosis (spoiler alert, that also turned out to be a yes…). I’m so glad I did. This week, the training plan calls for 13 miles on Saturday- my longest training run to date! I’ve learned that I have to say yes to one mile at a time, so this will be another opportunity to do that. I’m nervous, I’m excited, and I’m hopeful- and I’d love to hear about your ‘Yes!’ adventures!

Where will you say ‘Yes!’ today?

I run because I believe every child deserves clean water, and I know World Vision is doing great work to tackle the root causes of poverty. Will you say yes to making a donation to save a life today? Go online at http://www.teamworldvision.org/participant/hopeloverunjillian to give or learn about offline giving options as well

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