Carol’s CHAARG Journey: The Miracle Is Me

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DEAR CAROL,

You’ve crossed some milestones this month! You started grad school, took 30 minutes daily for “me time” + yoga, + logged 60 miles with #runCHAARG – completing the 15k! Even though today marks the last day of the campaign, your journey with runCHAARG is not over. This weekend when you head home to Dayton, you’ll be lacing up your shoes with the UD CHAARG girls + running in memory of the man you loved + lost.

You’ve debated whether or not you should go to the race. Would it be too overwhelming? But every time you stepped out the door to log another mile, you grew stronger with support from 2500+ girls. Their instagram posts inspired you, + you kept training. You are ready for this race, emotional challenges + all.

You’re nervous about seeing people Saturday morning. It’s okay to be nervous. But don’t forget that they are there honoring Danny Arnold — your late fiancé — to support his memorial scholarship. That scholarship was created to make someone else’s life easier, which is a beautiful legacy. Use this race to celebrate how positive action can be set in motion out of tragedy.

It will be hard for you to pass those buildings that hold your precious memories. Inside jokes during class, holding hands down sidewalk paths, + endless nights with the best friends you’ve ever known will be buoyant in your heart. With each forward-searching stride down those sacred streets: remember. Let that long dorm take you back to your first date, + saying good-bye for the summer. Let that bench take you back to a cold December night filled with promise. Let that plaza take you back to a vigil of friends + strangers, all praying for a miracle after his accident.

REMEMBER THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU DIDN’T GET THE MIRACLE THEY ASKED FOR, YOU STILL GOT ONE. THE MIRACLE IS YOU.

Keep on running. Run Fast. Run Strong. RunCHAARG — just like you have over the last 30 days.

Let Alumni Hall take you back to your courage returning to work after Danny passed. Let Kiefaber Street take you back to half marathon training. Let that campus filled with people remind you of all the ways in which they healed you. ++ accept the kindness of strangers in gray + pink CHAARG tanks as you keep on running.

When the race is over, though, your sense of accomplishment will subside. You’ll start to ask yourself “Do I do enough to honor him?” Answer yourself this way.

EVERY TIME YOU LEARN SOMETHING NEW, CONTRIBUTE, LOVE MORE DEEPLY, WORK HARDER, CARE FOR  YOUR FAMILY, GROW STRONGER, CREATE BEAUTY, LAUGH LOUDER, TEACH SOMEONE ELSE TO PERSEVERE, INVEST IN FRIENDS, BRAVELY SHARE YOUR STORY, + APPRECIATE YOUR LIFE… YOU HONOR DANNY. ++ EVERY TIME YOU FAIL, MAKE A MISTAKE, COME UP SHORT + GET KNOCKED DOWN AGAIN… YOU HONOR DANNY THEN, TOO. BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS GET BACK UP AGAIN.

Write that on your heart, + don’t you ever forget it.

Good luck on Saturday.

carol-2 carol-1carolll

+CAROL [@carol_inCHAARG

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