It's All I Can Do

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Today was restart the run day. It was restart the run for my granddaughter day. It was restart the running for my daughter day. It was restart the run for all of those whom I have met and have cystic fibrosis, and for all of those I have met who have loved ones with cystic fibrosis, day.

It began by having breakfast with my 88 year old buddy, Tom. For four years Tom and I have gone to breakfast every Tuesday morning at the Lincoln Inn, in DeKalb, Illinois. Tom has faithfully driven me out to Nelson Road for the past 3 1/2 years. It is on Nelson Road where I train for marathons, and it is on Nelson Road where I had begun this run for cystic fibrosis on January 1, 2011. After breakfast I went home to get some loose ends taken care of on the computer and to pack.

No doubt I was dragging my heels today. There was a part of me that definitely did not want to leave home. It wasn’t until the afternoon when I was finally ready to go. Chris drove me up to Madison, Wisconsin.

I have found that turning to church pastors has been very beneficial for the run. If I show up at the church and talk to them face-to-face, I have found that they have become very supportive. In Madison, Wisconsin, I was going to be at a homestay with my friend and amazing sighted running guide, Kelly Griego. Kelly guided me this year in the Appleton, Wisconsin half Ironman, and the Madison IronMan. He is also a great swimming coach.

Before Chris and I left to go to Madison, Chris went online looking for churches that would be closest to Kelly’s home. She found one that was literally within a few blocks of his immediate area. This was almost too good to be true. When Chris and I got up there, our first stop was to stop at the Capitoland Christian Center. When Chris and I went into the church we met with one of the pastors who is from Africa. I explained to him what I am doing regarding the run. I explained that what I asked of churches is that the pastor ask retired members of their church to provide rides for me from my home stay to a close running track.

This pastor was unique. Instead of saying yes or no about helping me, he suggested that I attend services the following night at 6:30 PM. I would find other people to talk to from the congregation and maybe I could find someone to help event. I told him that I needed to be running first thing in the morning on a high school track in Verona, that I could not wait until tomorrow night to meet people. I explained to him about my granddaughter and her battle with cystic fibrosis. That’s when things got interesting.

The pastor informed us that if we believed in Jesus more that He would take care of my granddaughter’s condition. He then went on to tell us how his kidneys had failed and so he began believing even more strongly in Jesus and his kidney problem resolved itself. He was told he should have died, but because he believed in Jesus he was healed. Obviously, this was not going to work. So we asked him if he could tell us where the closest Lutheran Church was. He got on a computer and seemed to be struggling trying to figure out how to find one. He found one but then told us it was extremely far away, roughly 7 miles, but with traffic it would take 15 minutes to get there.

Another pastor from that church walked into the office and we explained to him what we were doing and that we were looking for a Lutheran Church. He gave us the name and location of the church that was much closer. Chris and I drove to All Saints Lutheran Church, but because of my heel dragging earlier it was late in the day and the pastor was gone. We spoke with a woman named Georgia who was just coming out of the church. She was very supportive of us but also said that the pastor would not be available tomorrow due to a funeral. She gave us directions to the Good Shepard Lutheran Church. When we got there we had the same situation. The pastor had gone for the day and the woman that was in the office was extremely supportive but was unable to help us.

Chris and I then stopped at a HyVee food store for dinner. We had the Chinese buffet, which is what we enjoy a lot at our local HyVee in DeKalb, Illinois. After that, Chris dropped me off at Kelly’s home and then she headed back to home. I don’t know if I’ve ever missed Chris more. Add to that that the weather was terrible; it was windy, dark, and raining. I really did not like the idea of Chris driving home alone. When Kelly came home we sat and talked for a while.

I still did not have anyone to take me to the running track in Verona, Wisconsin tomorrow, but, then, his sister-in-law, Nicole, called. Nicole said she would pick me up in the morning and run with me at the track. I had already set up an interview with a TV reporter who would meet us on the track the next day. I asked Nicole if she would be willing to be part of the interview. It didn’t seem like that would be her first choice. Kelly and I talked until Chris called to let me know she got home safe.

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