My Day As a Turnstone Champion

This past weekend I ran the Fort4Fitness half marathon as part of “Team Turnstone”—the team running to raise funds for Turnstone.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Turnstone, they are an awesome not-for-profit organization based in Fort Wayne that provides therapeutic, educational, wellness and recreational programs that empower both children and adults with physical disabilities throughout our region. The programs they offer include everything from Swim Lap Club to Sled Hockey, with many different therapy and exercise groups as well. Not to mention, their equipment loan and ramp building programs to make homes and buildings more wheelchair accessible.

Turnstone has participated in the Fort4Fitness race for the past three years. Last year the team was 68 members strong and raised $11,500 for the organization. This year our team had more than 115 racers and surpassed last year’s numbers by thousands of dollars—raising over $20,000 for Turnstone.

At the end of the race, I realized I got a lot more out of Turnstone by joining the team than they got out of me. Not only did Turnstone’s amazing Director of Development and Marketing, Jen Neher, encourage me throughout training, but I was able to cross the starting line with Turnstone friends sending me off with words of inspiration. Even more, every time someone along the 13 miles of curbs saw my t-shirt, I received more Turnstone cheers. I wasn’t running alone, I was running the race as a member of the Turnstone family, part of a team of champions who were pushing themselves to their very limits—and those limits were different for each of us.

Team Turnstone taught me something valuable this week and Joe Henderson put it better than I ever could in a quote shared with me in one of Jen’s many motivating emails, “You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don’t run and never will…those who run but don’t race…those who started training for a race but didn’t carry through…those who got to the starting line but didn’t get to the finish line…those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You’re still here. Take pride in wherever you finish.”

Thanks Turnstone, for letting me be a Turnstone Champion at Fort4Fitness this year. Looking forward to next year already.