T2M2R is my way of working through my grief, so I can help a child overcome theirs. ~ Jamie Roeder
Now that Teacher2Mother2Runner is really taking off (Um, they have a Twitter account!), getting big, gobbling up fans left and right, I need to let you in on a little secret about them. You may not know this, but being a member of T2M2R means you're a part of an amazing organization. If you think T2M2R is just another "mommy running group," you're wrong! I know, I hate when that happens, too.

You may have stumbled upon T2M2R because a friend mentioned them and you figured "why not?" You may have been drawn by the cute logo. You may be hopeful that you're going to win the next item of swag from Treasure Chest Tuesday (I know I am!) You may be a teacher, a mother, and a runner or at least fit the bill of one of those. Or you may have joined so you could be a part of something that is a lot bigger than all of that.

When I was first introduced to T2M2R I had no idea what they were all about. I 'liked' them on Facebook because I am a mother and a runner. They promised that even if you weren't a teacher by profession you were still welcome to join. I didn't learn what the purpose of the group was until I went on an 8 mile run with one of the founders of the group, Jamie. She told me her story about the losses of parents she endured in her life and instantly I felt like I needed to do more and really get involved.

I lost my dad four years ago. It feels surreal to even type that. Wow, four years. As an adult, losing my parent has been terribly difficult. I miss him each and every day. My dad was always there for me as a kid when I was involved in sports. He was the one who cheered (i.e., coached) for me from the bench during my Little League softball games. He drove to my track meets after long days at work and watched me in my events, even if I only ran 1 race that lasted a few minutes. I can't imagine him not being there during my childhood. While training for my marathon I kept him with me. I knew he was cheering for me along the way even though I couldn't hear him. After finishing my first marathon, I called my mom to let her know how I did (that I was alive). When I hung up, I felt an emptiness. There was one more person I wanted to call, but he wasn't there to answer.

As painful as it is to not have my dad around now, I can't imagine losing him when I was much younger. If he missed those softballs games, track meets and wasn't around to play catch with, I'm not sure how I would have coped. Fortunately there is an organization, Comfort Zone Camp, that helps kids cope with the loss of a parent or loved one. Teacher2Mother2Runner brings awareness to this camp, which is offered as a free service to kids, and helps them get funding. They also donate to the camp as well. Pretty awesome, right?

You may have been going around telling people that you're a part of this great running group, full of inspiring women, which is all true. However, you're also doing a lot more. The more support and recognition T2M2R can get will translate into how much more they can give to the Comfort Zone Camp. So don't be afraid to drink the kool-aid and share it with a friend. That's why I'm here. That's why I write a weekly blog, and that's one of the many reasons I run.

Run Hard,
Run Strong,
Run For You,

9/13/2011 12:59:41 pm

Jesus Christ, I guess it really has been 4 years. I love you tons and know that your dad was running every single step of that marathon with you and he is INCREDIBLY proud of you!

I'm so happy to be a part of a group that contributes to such an important and worthy cause :)

9/13/2011 10:49:28 pm

Sorry for your loss! Great blog!

9/13/2011 11:48:37 pm

You already know this made me tear up (which is a rarity for me...so that's saying something!) There is no doubt that your dad was with you every step of the way on your marathon and is smiling and cheering you on every step of the way on EVERY run you undertake. You're such an inspiration to more people than you probably know. I'm beyond proud to know you and to share my life with you and just as proud for the causes you support! Love you!

9/14/2011 02:47:06 am

Well done!!! I needed a tissue this week. Just know that everyone in the group is always here for you!


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