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  • Laura Robb

Motivating the Unmotivated

We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have drafted and erased more blogs than I can count. But none of them felt right given our current situation. People were sick and dying, countless people were losing their livelihoods, basically life had changed for millions in a blink of an eye. Who cares about some middle aged charity runner wanting to run a race?

Especially since the very reason the middle aged charity runner was raising money was put on hold. The Covid-19 illness had forced the HSCT treatment centers to suspend treatment and AIMS suspended distributing grants. Countless hopeful patients were facing delays and the feelings of disappointment was an understatement. Infinite disappointment.

And that disappointment creeped into every crevice of the world. Unprecedented times.

In my world, cancelling our London trip was a gut punch. I understood the punch but it hurt. A lot. All my races were postponed or cancelled until the fall and even those don’t look promising, including the postponed London Marathon. My motivation was basically non-existent.

Excuses blossomed out of the disappointment. It was an easy way to sleep in, eat too much, and come up with a new excuse why to relax, heal the body of niggles and start fresh tomorrow. But honestly every day became a Groundhog day of excuses. Sure, I did some walking, a few miles here or there but none of it felt right. There was no purpose, no feeling of accomplishment. Empty miles of work that hurt and felt blah.

Runs are my reset button. Time to shake off the stress, think about my day and get myself motivated. On my runs, I typically come up with fundraising ideas and how to spread HSCT awareness. I just didn’t realize how much the end result of each training plan is what truly motivated me. That finish line is what had me motivated to start the daily training miles.

Enter virtual races. Virtual races have been around for years. Basically you send in $25 and the running company will send you a shiny medal in the mail. Some required you to log your actual time or miles before the medal was sent, but most times the companies just wanted your money and left it to the runner if they actually did the run. Medals were typically mailed upon payment. Virtual races had a stigma and many runners avoided them.

But in these unprecedented times, runners around the world were feeling exactly like me. Disappointed that runs and trips were cancelled. Not knowing when the next race would happen, runners worldwide were ready to be motivated from the dregs of their disappointment.

Overnight, virtual running took off. First there were the Covid-19 themed races, then the stay home themed races started. The Ultra running communities even came up with virtual challenges and then race directors around the country came up virtual challenges that would keep runners occupied for months. And I signed up for waaaaay too many of them.

Mother’s Day 10K: Upper left is Mom’s Favorite, Bottom Left is Mom Likes Me Best and #Momsfave All the favorite children helped save sea turtles.

Hope started to bubble out of the disappointment. My motivation returned. I ran a 24 hour Ultra Challenge, a Stay Home half marathon, organized a family 10K and joined 19,0000 other runners to virtually traverse across the great state of TN. All of this has been fun and motivating but it’s time for this middle aged charity runner to add some fresh air into my fundraising aim for AIMS and help all those still waiting to get HSCT get the grants they need.

Tomorrow is June 1. My stem cell birthday and birth month. Birthday fundraisers have been all the rage in recent years and this year I’m hopping on the bandwagon and launching a virtual stem cell birthday fundraiser and virtual birthday runathon.

My 8th stem cell birthday is June 11, 2020. Eight years of healing, with ups, downs, good days and bad days. On my 3rd stem cell birthday I ran 3 miles to celebrate. Since then, I’ve tried to run a mile per year in celebration. I missed my 4th year due to AVN knee surgeries and my 7th year due to a stress fracture.

My 47th birthday is June 27 and I plan on running a 47K. We will do some Facebook Live events throughout the 47K and if I reach $1,000.00 for the month of June by the time I reach the 46 kilometer mark on June 27, I will continue running until there are no donations for a kilometer. This could get messy!

No one knows what the future holds. Now is the time to continue to lift each other up and motivate each other because hope is not gone. HSCT programs will restart, borders will reopen and runners will toe start lines again one day. Let’s all be ready for both the start lines and adding money to the AIMS grant reserves.

https://facebook.com/events/s/birthday-runathon/978678142568066/?ti=icl

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