The Boston Marathon – Thank You

I have tried to write this post a few times now, but just haven’t been able to get it right. And I’m probably still not going to, but I’m going to give it a try.

Last week, I got to run the Boston Marathon.

Rondi and I picking up our packets. Yeah. We’re pretty excited.

And…Holy. Moly. It was everything I could have possibly dreamed it would be. And more. It was something I had worked so hard for, for so long, and it did not disappoint. Here’s a glimpse of our weekend in Boston.

During the few days leading up to the marathon, and the few days following the marathon, I was completely overwhelmed with love and support from friends and family near and far. I mean, over-the-top support. The kind of support that actually left me feeling completely unworthy.

Because, here’s the thing. I was out there literally living my dream. I was getting to do something that I honestly never thought I was going to get to do. And the only reason I was able to do that was because of everyone who loved and supported me on this journey.

When I attempted to earn a spot in that race the traditional way, by running a fast enough qualifying time, I failed. More than once. So I worked at earning a charity spot. And there’s zero chance that I could have gotten that charity spot by myself. Angela (my honored hero for LLS) wrote me a letter of recommendation. Janet Harden (Michigan’s LLS Woman of the Year fundraiser) convinced the Michigan chapter representative for LLS to write me a letter of recommendation. And SO MANY people donated to my page long before I was even chosen to be a part of Team in Training and run Boston. All of those things ARE the reason I got to run across the finish line on Boylston Street last Monday.

Rondi and I crossing the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

So, instead of me hearing how awesome I am and that I’m a rock star, what needs to be happening is that I need to be saying that to every single one of you that has shown me love and support. YOU are the reason I got to go live my dream out in Boston last week. I honestly can never thank you enough. Not only did you help me earn a spot in the race, but you blew my fundraising goal out of the stinking water!

Did I mention that I was absolutely terrified of the original $10,000 goal that I set for myself when I first applied to LLS? Yes. Terrified. That’s so much money. And yet, somehow I ended up with OVER $20,000 raised for CANCER RESEARCH! Unbelievable.

People have asked me how I was able to raise that much money. It’s a hard question to answer because it’s not like there was one big event that brought it all in. But, in the same way, it’s easy to answer. SO MANY PEOPLE SUPPORTED ME. That is the answer. I had a few amazing fundraisers that lots of people attended. I had my husband and his friend Erick volunteer to charter fishing trips. I had my friend, Adrienne, host a fundraiser. I had another friend, Kristen, whose company does matching funds and donates money on behalf of employees. Janet H and her “Mission: Is Possible” campaign were a huge support. My mom and her countless hours of work organizing the basketball fundraiser and making items for the bowling fundraiser.  The company I work for (The Romine Group) and all of the principals of their schools that showed their support. Michelle did an online fundraiser early on to help get me started. The Nall’s, the Demings, and the Bedients who all wanted to get me to that $20,000 mark and made donations to make that happen! And SO MANY more. Every single one of you that shared my fundraising page, made a donation, came to a fundraiser, whatever it was, YOU are what made my dream come true. I know I’m leaving people out and I am so sorry. It’s nearly impossible to list all of you because the love just didn’t stop!

So, every time I think about the Boston Marathon and just how incredibly awesome it was, I can’t help but think about all of the people that got me there. You are the true rock stars.

So much love to all of you.

-Kendra

What We Carry

I’ve been somewhat addicted to a Netflix series over the last few months that is not my typical kind of show. It’s like watching a car wreck. You just stare at it and can’t look away. It’s awful and tragic and sad and shocking.

I have finally come to the realization that I envy the lack of expectations that are set for these characters. If anything, the expectation is that they are going to mess up. They ALL screw up. Constantly. And hardly anyone cares. And if they do, forgiveness is quickly granted and everyone gets on with their lives. All of their garbage is laid out for everyone to see, and yet, life goes on.

For me, and for many people, that is not the case. The expectation is that we are going to do the right thing. Make the right choice. Be the bigger person… And, every time that we succeed at that, the expectations get higher and higher. And with bigger expectations comes a bigger fear of letting people down.

This is something I need to work on.

Often, I only want people to see the good stuff. Deep down I worry that if everyone knew about all of the imperfections in my life, they would be disappointed. And I really hate disappointing people.

The truth is that we all carry stuff around that we don’t want people to see. Whether it’s addiction, debt, unfaithfulness, eating disorders, OCD, loneliness, guilt, fear… Every single one of us carries something. We are not alone with our imperfections, and we’re certainly not the only ones trying to hide them.

But here’s the deal. We can carry that stuff around and still be pretty great people. I don’t have to show you all of my junk. You just need to know that it’s there.

Instead, I can keep showing you the good stuff.

My boys and I at Lake Huron looking for Petoskey stones.
Exploring some new trails in the fresh snow. The boys complained the WHOLE time 🙂
I literally paid them both $1 to “cooperate” for this picture….
Family “run” that had more walk breaks than actual running time.
Hike with my boxer, Blu. Because sometimes I need a break from my people.

Yup. I definitely prefer sharing the good stuff.

-Kendra

***Sidenote: I’ve been reading the book Present Over Perfect because a couple of friends recommended it to me (thanks, girls!) and I HIGHLY recommend it!