Preparation is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

This blog post is a personal story told by one of our employees that represented Status Solutions in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon this past weekend.

When I first decided to run a half marathon I could barely run one mile, let alone 13.1, I knew I would have to dedicate my time and energy in order to adequately prepare. I knew it would be difficult and that I would have to keep myself motivated even when I cramped up or felt out of breath. I had set a major goal, and that major goal required major preparation.

Throughout the training process I couldn’t help but compare the race day to an emergency situation. No one really wants to run a half marathon because it’s difficult and scary, period. No one really wants to prepare for an emergency situation because it’s difficult and scary. Both things challenge our day to day status quo and leave us relying on the old “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” mentality. We know that we can run 13.1 miles or be more prepared for an emergency, but it requires too much effort and we become very good at making excuses. 

I realized that in order to achieve my goal, I would have to start small, just a mile or two every other day. When I could barely breathe after just two miles that first week I felt like my goal was impossible and I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. The next week I decided to stop over analyzing and just ran, I couldn’t sit around plotting out my path anymore; it was time to take action. I ran three miles that week, and even though I was tired and nowhere close to 13.1, I could see my improvement from the week before and that was enough to keep me going. 

Again, this reminds me of how we prepare for emergency situations. We can’t expect to make one change or run one mile and then be ready for what lies ahead. We have to be patient, take time to calculate our options, and set reasonable mile markers. On the other hand, we have to know when to turn planning into action. 

On the day of the race, I rolled out of bed at 6:00 am, threw on my Operation Mom Power tank top, and laced up my shoes. I felt jittery, I didn’t know if I was ready and began to doubt every mile I had run over the past five months. I met up with my fellow Operation Mom Power runners and we slowly walked towards the starting line. When the gun went off we embarked on our journey, staying together almost the entire time. When one of us needed to slow down we all slowed down and when someone wanted to keep going it pushed everyone forward. 

Responding to an emergency situation is always scary, but if we trust our training and our support system, we can reach our goal. 

During the race, several women asked me about my tank top and complimented the cute hashtag, #StrengthInMothers. Through labored breaths and crooked strides I managed to gasp out, “It’s a– mom power– initiative– for uh– safer schools! Give us– a follow– to learn more.” Each strong mother smiled back nodding, seeing that my determination extended beyond running absurd distances. 

There’s something you have to understand here, we decided to run the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon for a reason, because we love kids and hate cancer. We believe that mothers can do anything if they rally together and push each other forward, even on mile 12 with the finish line so close yet so far. When we crossed the finish line, we were exhausted but we did it. We had accomplished a seemingly impossible task; all of the training had been worth it. In our efforts to improve safety in our schools, it sometimes seems impossible and tedious. But let me tell you, we won’t give up. We will keep training, keep preparing, and keep learning until we cross that finish line. When we finally do, it will all be worth it because our children and educators will be safe. Period.

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