All my heart

Today was truly one of the most incredible days of my life. For months, I have been doing something that has been very hard for me, harder than most people know, trying desperately to help someone else. It has been humbling, exhausting, and exhilarating, all at the same time.

Today was my Run for Congo Women, but it was more than a run, more than a race. It was all of my heart, going out to women I have never met, but who I feel in my soul. It was love and joy and gratitude for all of the dear friends, family, and loved ones who have stunned me by their love and support.

As I have tried with everything I have to help these women I care so very deeply for, I have, in turn, been blessed. I have felt loved and supported as I never have before, and I have never felt so encouraged and blessed. It is amazing and hard to describe.

It isn’t easy to put yourself out there, to do something that is really hard for you. It isn’t easy to keep going, when everything around seems to push you down. It isn’t easy to keep climbing the rocky hills, but you have to if you ever want to get to the downward slopes. Helping other people is never going to be easy to do. But it is worth every single struggling step, because then you are becoming your best self, because you are living outside of yourself.

As I ran today, and as I hit the hard moments, and even when I fell down (yes, big surprise)…I thought of the pain these women are suffering every day of their lives. I ached and hurt for them. To be truthful, I ached and hurt myself, on a superficial level, but it was definitely challenging for my body to complete this course right now. But as I ran, I thought of you. I thought of each and every one of you, my family, my loved ones, who have supported me, and who have given me so very much, more than you can imagine you have given, and as I thought of that, I had the strength to keep going. It made me think…perhaps one of these women, who have been so tortured and beaten down by life, just maybe her mind will catch hold of us, who raised money and who ran for her, trying to save her life. And maybe she’ll be able to stand back up and keep going, too.

I ran the whole way today. I didn’t have to, but I wanted to give all of my heart, everything I had, to those women. When I was finished, I knew I had worked as hard as I could and done my best. And I knew that lives would be changed forever for it, and that feeling is like none I can ever begin to describe. I cannot find words to express my love and gratitude to each of you…I am amazed as I look back at the day and the past few months.

MommYoga was the top fundraiser for the Denver 2009 Run for Congo Women. How can I possibly thank you? There are no words. I am amazed tonight, as I look again at the list of contributors. I asked a lot of people for money. Few of them donated. But those of you who gave the most were among those I know who had the very least to give. By that I am humbled, honored, and blessed to know you. You showed your true, Christlike hearts. I love you. Thank you for loving me, and for helping me to keep going. Not just in my run, but always.

12 Responses

  1. matt

    I'm so proud of you! You did such a great job, and in turn have affected not only the 2 women you were able to sponsor, but dozens of others — including mine.I'm proud to have you by my side as we walk (or run) through life.

    September 20, 2009 at 6:22 am

  2. Jessie Mae

    Thank you for sharing! We are proud of you.

    September 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

  3. Alison

    Yay! Way to go, Ann. What an accomplishment to have finished that race… and for such a good cause. I really couldn't have done it. We will definitely have to celebrate that (and your birthday!!) in a few weeks!

    September 20, 2009 at 7:53 pm

  4. Krista

    *bawling**cleaning up my face**sniffle*I'm so proud of you, too!!! And grateful that you gave *me* the opportunity to do some good… thank you, and THANK YOU.*sniffle*

    September 21, 2009 at 5:59 am

  5. Nicole

    i was thinking of you all weekend. that's for doing what you did.

    September 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

  6. Jen Parsons

    We were blessed to have you Ann. Thank you for your amazing words that made my husband tear up! I will be in touch!Jen ParsonsRun for Congo Women

    September 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

  7. Chantile

    You had me sobbing. thanks for being amazing!! I love you!!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm

  8. The Arizona Richters

    great job Ann! We're proud of you!

    September 21, 2009 at 11:41 pm

  9. Rebecca

    What an accomplishment–to complete something that was difficult for you to do and to help others in the process. You are an inspiration.

    September 23, 2009 at 9:51 pm

  10. Ryan and Evelyn

    What an amazing accomplishment and for such a good cause!

    September 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

  11. Christine

    Way to go Ann! We love you so much, and we're so proud of you!!!

    September 28, 2009 at 1:54 am

  12. Tara and Dan

    You are my HERO!! I am SO proud of you for stretching yourself in new ways and accomplishing the goals you set for yourself. You are a true inspiration. You have blessed so many peoples' lives- including mine!! I am honored to be your friend. The world is lucky to have you in it!!

    October 5, 2009 at 6:19 am

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