I’m Hollands Mom and I started running to impress a guy!
It must have worked because he is now my husband! Adam had recently started running and wanted it to be something we could do together! Initially I was not excited about the thought of running, but I really liked this guy and wanted to keep him around. At that time I ran for Adam and I did it unenthusiastically. A few months later a friend from church posted on Facebook that running a 5K was on her ‘bucket list’ and she had signed up for a race. Other ladies from the church signed up for the race in support; so, I signed up and decided that I wanted to run for me! I trained and was able to jog the entire race without walking! Having worked so hard to build up my endurance, I kept running for my health both physically and mentally. I also had the extra motivation of fitting in the perfect wedding dress as Adam and I were then planning our wedding!
Shortly after we were married, we were overjoyed with the news that we were expecting! I wanted to be a healthy mom and give my baby the best possible care from day one so I ran. We found out mid-way through our pregnancy that Holland would have Down syndrome. Running and aerobics really helped me cope with the emotional rollercoaster of this discovery. I continued to run through 6 months of my pregnancy and walked the last few months. I was determined that I was going to do everything that I could to give my baby a healthy start as well as be a positive example of eating healthy and teach her that exercising is fun!
On August 2, 2013 Holland was born and that became one of the most amazing days of my life! During my maternity leave, I watched as Holland grew and developed right before my eyes. One thing I learned about Down syndrome was that development often occurred at a slower pace. The physical therapist showed me how to help Holland strengthen her muscles to meet her milestones. I watched as Holland fought for every movement she made. Her determination was incredible! Once I was cleared to exercise after my delivery, I was nervous to run again; fearing that I had regressed during my recovery. But I hit the pavement with more motivation than I had ever had because I knew that my baby was fighting to hold up her head, and move her arms, and roll over, and sit up. Every time I would want to stop and walk I would remember how she would push and grunt and struggle to do even then smallest movements. It was during that time that I started to run for Holland!
Now 3 years later, I continue to run. God has blessed me with the ability to be active and given our family a purpose to run. I am running faster and longer than I ever dreamed I would and with more motivation than imaginable! The Run For Holland 5k and the Run For Holland Couch to 5K Training group have truly blessed and encouraged me in this journey.
So, today I run for God who has given me victory over the trials in my life and blessed me more than words can describe. I run for Adam, the amazing man who loves me, encourages me, and inspires me to be the best I can be! I run for the beautiful faces of Down syndrome and the families that are a part of this amazing community! And I run for Holland; my beautiful daughter who has inspired me, and countless others, to do more than they ever thought possible!
“We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up.” Hebrews 12:1 (NCV)