So I was finishing my first half marathon, in Nashville, in the rain. As I ran, I prayed for a friend who was losing her battle with brain cancer. Her name was Jenna and she was the same age as my younger son. She was in 5th grade. She had begun hospice care. I cried and prayed for a miracle. As I neared the finish, I stared at the back of the woman in front of me. I was turning left towards the last mile then, as clear as the music on my iPod, I heard the Dr. Pepper old theme song.
"Wouldn't you like to be a pepper to?"
When I heard it the second time, I could clearly hear the word "bimbo" instead of pepper. It kept replaying in my mind. I knew in my spirit that I was hearing instructions for a team that I was to put together to raise money for my young friend's charity. The charity was created when Jenna was 3 years old. The charity is Jenna Kast Believe In Miracles Foundation. At the time it was a very small home based charity that blessed local children with small to medium sized dreams or wishes.
As I ran, God confirmed in my spirit that BIMBO stood for Believe In Miracles, Beautiful One. The first three words were obvious, and those words honored the name of the charity. Beautiful one was a play on words. At first notice, beautiful one is referring to Jenna, the one we all were praying for, but the bigger meaning was Jesus. He is our beautiful one who is familiar with our suffering and yet willingly went to the Cross. I was humbled to say the list.
As I stared at the shirt in front of me which said "If you can read this, I'm beating at least one person" my ego grew big, because God was up to something awesome in me, no matter if I was behind that chick! (For the record though, I sucked it up and passed her!)
I came home and began praying and planning. I promised Jenna that I would start a running team to raise funds and awareness of Believe In Miracles. And I did. God used me and several of my friends to create a team of 250 people who all ran or walked in the Let's Move Festival of Races. The first year we raised $15,000. The second year, our numbers dropped to 125, but we still raised $10,000! After the second year, it was time for me to pass the baton to my friend, Paula and seek God and find out what His plan was for me. Thus far, every major change in ministry or serving is always bittersweet. Passing the reigns for the Team B.I.M.B.O. was no different.
Without the non stop, behind the scenes work of building a running team, what in the world could God have in store for me? Well, as it turns out... it was time to eat some humble pie. Though, I thought I had eaten enough during the first race, apparently that was just an appetizer.
Between the Country Music Marathon in 2010 and the first Lets Move Festival of Races, I signed up for two more half marathons. My second race was the Brooksie. A leisurely, hilly course through Rochester, MI. I was on fire, I knew how to eat and I loved running. What could go wrong? I had trained accordingly and put in every mile to ensure I had a good PR. Well, on mile 8 something went very wrong. I felt a pop in my left hip and it felt like someone had shot me in the thigh. I hobbled my way to the finish line and started physical therapy the following week.
The therapist came highly recommended and after he examined me, informed me that I had a stress fracture in my left femur. He as confident and told me that he had seen this injury twenty times in his practice, there was no need for an MRI to confirm. Okay. I trusted him. I trained on an anti-gravity treadmill and kept running. I had another race the end of February, only three months away and it was a 40th birthday present. I was going to run the Disney Half Marathon as Tinkerbell.
February came and off to Disney with three good friends. We were all dressed as different fairies and we ran. Low and behold, after I had posed with the Pirate of the Carribean crew and just passed the half way point, something snapped in my left foot! Good Lord! Show Your servant mercy. He did. He allowed me to run/hobble to the Disney finish line with one of my best friends. I came home and was promptly diagnosed with a torn plantar fascia in my left foot. Well, shoot! That sucks. It was an easy surgery, but it did limit my mobility and totally messed up my running with Team B.I.M.B.O.
As soon as the cast came off for that injury, a second injury appeared immediately. My foot was in a flexed position in the cast and as a result, a Morton's Neuroma formed. Yeah.... that was a second surgery within months of the first one. Whatever. I'll heal.
Little did I know that these two surgeries were the beginning of seven in three years. Have mercy on me! (ps, He did).