Last Thursday when it was pouring rain you might have seen me out running. No, I’m not crazy, just in need of some “run therapy”.  Sometimes, I run more for mental and spiritual therapy than for physical fitness. This was one of those mornings. Earlier that morning I  just wanted to curl up in a warm blanket and cry. You see, this week I lost my beautiful engagement ring. An engagement ring is more than just a prized possession; it is a memory of a moment – a promise of a lifetime. The loss was stuck in my throat like a lump.

After listening to the drumming of the rain on the roof I reluctantly laced up my running shoes and put on a rain jacket and hat. I promised myself that if after 10 minutes I wasn’t feeling better that I would return home. As I ran I felt the rain wash down on me. I began to relax; to let go of the pain and frustration. I remembered all of the difficult times in my life when I really need “run therapy”. Like when my eldest daughter was just 18 months old and had to have open heart surgery. Her heart was just the size of a small plum and they had to stop it for an hour and 10 minutes to repair a damaged section.  When she was sleeping I would drag myself out of the hospital and run around the building to keep my sanity.  I did this so that I could be strong for her when she woke up. (She is now a healthy 25 year old).

Last year, my youngest brother Grant, fell through the ice near his home in Ontario, in sub zero conditions. It would be months before they would find his body.  He left behind a loving wife and three beautiful children. I ran on the days that the grief was too much to bare. Not as an escape, but as a coping mechanism. I don’t know if it is the endorphins or the time alone with myself to process the pain, but “running therapy” helps me cope in the most difficult times in my life.

Next weekend, the family and friends of Jacob Michalca, a seven your old boy who used to laugh at his “stinky feet” are organizing a 5K Run/Walk in his memory. You see, Jake couldn’t always wash his feet when he was in the hospital for treatment for acute myelogenous leukemia. Jake passed away on May 14th, 2007. In Jake’s memory please join us for “The Stinky Feet 5K Run/Walk” on Saturday, June 5th at 9am at Sonoma Mountain Village, Rohnert Park, 1400 Valley House Road.  This is a celebration of an incredible young boy and all funds raised will benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I never met Jake. I wish I had. I am looking forward to meeting his parents and friends. I understand how this event can ease their pain. Since learning about Jake and the “Stinky Feet Run” every time I unlace my running shoes after a long run and slip my stinky feet out of them, I look up and give Jake a wink. Thanks Jake, for making me laugh at my stinky feet. I look forward to running in your memory and along side your friends and family,  knowing that “run therapy” or “stinky feet therapy” will help them cope with their grief.

Please join us on for the celebration! A Family Friendly 5k Run/Walk and Festival celebrating the life of Jacob Mihalca.

Keep up the Pace,

Holly