Sometimes the only pretty thing about my running is the scenery! :)- By Krysta Wetzel- Executive Director
The Madison Marathon is RIGHT around the corner. I'm not sure if I'm more excited or more scared!! :) Excited, I suppose, knowing what we're doing it for. Miles for Smiles. Agape Grants. Hope, Health and Opportunity in the communities we serve. If you'd have asked me 150 miles ago though, I'd have told you "SCARED"!! Running isn't exactly my thing. And I've often used Achievements' biggest enemy, "Mr. Excuse", to keep from it!
That all changed a couple months ago when one of our supporters, Jason Krause of Henry Schein came to the clinic and said, "Do you suppose it's just luck that the Madison Marathon runs RIGHT in front of your new clinic?! No way! Let's make it an event!!" Now, if you have met Jason even one time, you know he's got a contagious energy to him, you'd have said "heck yes!!" too!!! :)
Imagining myself cheering on our team of runners at our water table in front of the clinic was exciting! Then a board member, Dr. Robb Warren challenged me to be a leader...doh! My board is really supportive of me MOST of the time. So when any one of them make a suggestion different than my plan, I LISTEN! "Yah, I should get in on this", I told myself! Just 12 weeks away from the marathon, having not run more than 3 consecutive miles anytime in the last few years, I found a 10 week half marathon training guide (I'm a strategic planner by nature so I planned for an injury, surprise trip to Tahiti, or runner abduction and kidnapping all limited to 14 days, ha!). I saved it to my home screen. I don't even want to think how many times I probably have looked at that thing! Eeek, but it worked! A week ago I ran the final and longest run of the plan. 12 miles. I averaged 11:37 miles. It's not fast. But I can assure you, I cannot walk a mile in that time! And it's a long way from where I began. The times on the trail have not only made my dog love me more than anyone or anything on the planet (very annoying if you need a personal space bubble ever but otherwise pretty cool, lol), they have made me realize that I can achieve the things I don't make excuses for why I can't.
Like you, I thought I didn't have time to run. Truth be told, that long run took me 2hr and 19 minutes. And after some quick math, calculations show I've spent over 25 hours running in preparation for this event. These aren't lost hours though. They are hours of gain. Health for myself. Thought with no (normal) distractions. Focus on the patients who have touched me deeply because they need our help. I have thought about them so much on my runs, many by face and name. And there is something magical that happens when you mix thinking of such things with endorphins- I'm not Webster but I'll call it MOTIVATION. I suppose God doesn't need endorphins to think of us each by name and face as He helps us each day. In fact, He must have natural Divine Super Level Endorphins Squared in order to love us all in our need!
So now that I'm 2 weeks ahead of schedule, I bet you're wondering what I'm doing for fun in my "spare time"?
I'm blogging. And I ran today. :)
I'm updating our team of 19 runners on how we're doing on fund raising. And I'm sending out financial support requests to friends, family and community members I think would care about helping neighbors smile. I'm picking up our jerseys and volunteer Tshirts tomorrow to deliver to our 6 corporate sponsors: Lifetime Family Dentistry, Cool Beans, Warren Family Dental, SVA, Middleton Family Dental and Associated Bank, the volunteers they are sending to cheer us on, and to our running team led by Jason. I'm thinking about heading back to the soccer field tomorrow after having not been there for weeks because there is only so many hours in the day. And like I tell my kids (who have 4 BILLION times the energy I do), "You can't do it all!" Ugh, hate that when good parenting gets in the way!
Want to help support? We've got secure online giving that will take you less than 2 min. Check out our website while you're at it. 1 in 3 people aren't going to the dentist because they can't afford it. It's affecting their health and eventually their self esteem. Tell them about us. Our fees are around half of traditional fees, creating a middle ground for those without dental insurance. Find my name in the list of runners on our donation page.
We talk all the time about our mission to CREATE A MIDDLE GROUND. That's who we are honored to serve. Those who fall in the cracks between traditional dentistry and government aid. Where is the middle ground? It's in our clinics, which look just like a traditional one except for the fees. What do our patients look like? They look like Rick and Diane, a positive couple who has had to neglect dental care sometimes because they simply couldn't afford it. They're parents and they are grandparents, excited about their most recent granddaughter just born! The old adage that life is 90% what you make of it came to mind as I chatted with Rick one day in our reception room. He has a medical condition that has hampered his ability to hold a traditional job, even to drive. But as a family provider, Rick runs an online camping store. When is the last time you decompressed in the great outdoors? www.newmansoutdoorgear.com. Taking care of your teeth and gums isn't the only way to create a healthier you, spending time to recharge and refocus your priorities is another one! Thank you Rick and Diane for letting us get to know you and sharing a little of your story to inspire others! We wish you great success!