By Amanda Burrill
Participating in 2018’s TCS New York City Marathon for the Bob Woodruff Foundation is an honor for several reasons.
First, not so long ago I was a veteran in need of services much like the ones the foundation provides. After a rough stretch, and that is an understatement, I fought my way to an excellent mental place and acceptable physical place. I know first hand what needing help feels like and I shudder to imagine anyone enduring that uncertainty. I’m more than happy to “endure” on their behalf, via a reputable organization like the Bob Woodruff Foundation.
Second, I was a lifelong runner. Since the first grade, all I wanted to do after school was run. And that’s what I did for over 20 years. Even after my first traumatic brain injury I avidly ran — a bit slower and a lot less steady — but it was a lifeline to cling to that provided structure and purpose.
My last marathon was more than three years and eight surgeries ago. While this may be more of a walk or shuffle than a run, it will certainly be my best effort.
A few years ago I’d have balked at the idea of running a race where I have no chance of setting a personal record. With time has come wisdom and a restructuring of my priorities. Going out on November 4th to raise awareness for a cause close to my heart is infinitely more poignant than any of the marathons I’ve run before.
Lastly, I want to be an example that you can come back from injuries and/or setbacks with your head held high, owning and acknowledging what happened in the past, content but not complacent in the present, with the intention of paying it forward in the future.
I appreciate your support as team BWF not only stands up for heroes; we’re going 26.24 miles!
Because I was unsure about being able to run— I will have my next surgery right after the marathon — I am still fundraising. And I could use your help!