Category Archives: Boston Marathon

Look For What You Want To See

I’m starting Week 3 of my Boston Marathon training for Samaritans to raise money to save lives and create awareness towards suicide prevention and mental health illnesses. So far the weather has been great – I hope it continues all winter!

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As I ran this week, I was thinking about challenges and obstacles that so many face. Guess what I found everywhere I looked? Yep, challenges and obstacles. Every step seemed to find another gotcha, warning, and hazard, all filled with risk. My negative thoughts compounded, turning into doubts and fear, and made me want to turn around.

Our minds are crazy powerful

Our brains can work either for or against us. When we shift our thinking to positive thoughts, our minds can be our greatest asset that keep us going and stay motivated! As you read my alternate responses below for each picture, see which ones make you feel stressed versus relaxed. Which make you want to run versus stop in your tracks? What is your typical reaction? In the week ahead, I ask that you reflect on your reactions to all things. Think positive thoughts and get some upward spirals started today!

Obstacles I found this week & my reactions…

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Initial negative thoughts: Aaah, a gaggle of geese! They could turn on me at any moment! Why are they looking at me? And why are they so spiteful to do this to the sidewalk?
Positive thoughts: Look! An obstacle course that will help me strengthen all sorts of muscles in my legs as I dart back and forth. Thank you for waking my brain up as I have to pay attention to the road in front of me. So cool to see animals that will brave the outdoors with me all winter long!

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Initial negative thoughts: Seriously, a banana peel on the side walk?!?!? One false step and I’ll be flat on my back! How could someone be so inconsiderate? What a mess!!
Positive thoughts: Wheee – I could slide down this hill! Soon I’ll be home and can refuel with fresh fruit! This peel will compost and give life to so many critters. Ha ha – had some good laughs watching MythBusters fall on banana peels.

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Initial negative thoughts: A knife on the sidewalk? Seriously? How did this get here? What if I fell on it? Was it part of a crime? Kids causing trouble? What kind of neighborhood is this?
Positive thoughts: You can’t make this stuff up – I’m in awe of how well the universe listens. I start thinking about danger and the next thing you know I’m jogging over knives! My mind has incredible power, and I need to use it conjure up money next time! And make sure I keep it focused on helping others and spreading encouragement to all.

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I jogged over this giant ball of thistles many times. As I started thinking about challenges I got this great thought to take a picture of it in my hand. The thistle called to me. It beckoned me and played me its Siren Song. How much trouble could it cause?

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Initial negative thoughts: Are you for frickin’ real? Seriously, I just want a picture for my blog and you attack me? I’ll be picking thistles out of my gloves and shoes for weeks? Crap – I shook my hand and now I’ve got thistles on my shoes, socks, pants and glove! I’ll get splinters in my feet? I’ll cut myself when wiping my nose now with my gloved hand. The more I rub my gloves together the more thistle parts are everywhere and they don’t come out!
Positive thoughts: I can’t lie, my initial reaction was a bit of shock and a few seconds of frustration, but if you would have been driving by you would have almost immediately seen me laughing and talking to myself. It was a riot to see how fast I got covered in these things. Wow – nature, you impress me! Is this similar to the story that inspired the invention of velcro? Ok, I got myself into this, now I need to get myself out of this – one burr at a time – how can I best apply this to helping others get through their struggles? The same way – we’ll get out of it together, one burr at a time.

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Initial negative thoughts: Unstable ground? I could twist an ankle in Week 2 of training. What’s the matter with this neighborhood – fix your crappy streets! Am I making mountains out of mole hills? Why would you put your dirt here on this area of town that already has no sidewalks.
Positive thoughts: More paths to make my knees and ankles stronger, keep my body guessing, and give me power. I always stay more engaged on unpredictable terrain. Thank you city for saving tax dollars and creating a fun run for me!

What did I learn this past week?

Reminders once again that the universe listens. We create opportunities (or obstacles!) by what we’re already looking for ahead of time. If you start taking steps (even small ones) and think positive thoughts, you will see things in a positive light and be happier. Our emotions are created by how we interpret everything. We can have fun and learn in every situation around us, but we have to be open to new experiences. Be kind to yourself, believe in what’s possible, and think happy thoughts (regardless of how many burrs just attacked your hand), and your challenges will start to go away! In the weeks ahead, practice being positive regardless of what you’re facing, and support and encourage those around you!

YOU are running with me!

Wow! What an incredible week and amazing start to this journey! Energizing yet exhausting. In 5 days my fundraising total was just over $3600! My goal is $10,000 so please keep those donations coming and spreading the word! It has been absolutely amazing to see and feel the love and support from so many people. WE are saving lives, spreading awareness to prevent suicide, fighting stigma, and educating those around us. The email messages, Facebook posts, phone calls, and conversations have been overwhelming and so touching. I pause many, many times to just be thankful for having so many wonderful people supporting me and going out of their way to help share my message and let me know I have their support. Thank you.

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One person sent my message on to many of his friends and added that he was, “definitely not running in the Boston Marathon!!” Wrong. He IS running in the Boston Marathon. Anyone who made a donation or who sent a message of support to me is running in the Boston Marathon next year. You are running with me. I am carrying you with me. I think about you when I run. You energize and inspire me. WE are running this marathon together! WE are saving lives! Your money or other support was not a one-time gift. That was me accepting you on my team. We are in this together.

I didn’t expect this, but my emotions go up and down every time I refresh my donation tally screen. Some donations bring a tear to my eye. It somehow validates that my sister’s life mattered. We are changing lives in her name.

I start my 18-week training plan THIS week. It’s crazy how exhausting last week was at times, and ALL I was doing was fundraising (ha!). Trying to respond or connect quickly to everyone who donates takes time, but it is soul soothing…and makes me feel like my training already started! :)

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We had just a quick taste of winter last week. Thankfully, temps are expected to be in the 30’s and 40’s the next few weeks. Last Friday, I ran over lunch, and the extreme’s I saw were a dude running with tube socks as mittens covering his forearms, and I also passed a lady jogging in just a sports bra. Fun times in Minnesota. Remember, we’re all running this together.

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Thank you for the personal messages. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Thank you for sharing memories of my sister with me. I can’t express enough how important and touching it has been to see and feel so much support this week.

Thank you.

What sign are YOU waiting for?

I am incredibly blessed to have been chosen to run the 2016 Boston Marathon for Samaritans. I’m running to save lives by spreading messages of awareness and hope to anyone facing struggles, or whose lives have been impacted by suicide or mental illness. I believe to my core that sharing my story and connecting this with others will make a difference in ways that I can’t even fathom, but I had a “show me a sign” moment this week. I wanted more assurance that the energy I invest over the next 5 months will connect in ways that people hear it and that will change lives!

I was moving forward, but “Show me a sign” was running through my brain.

I get to work, and this sign was posted 10′ from my office.

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Funny how the universe listens. How cool is that? Running. Connection. Calm. Control. Touching others. Positive.

Still not convinced, I go for a jog at lunch. From a few of my past posts, simple smiley faces are typically the closest thing I get to saying I have “signs from my sister” (e.g., gin glass, Orca as the medium – don’t ask what you’re look at in this one – you don’t want to know). I’m jogging on a path that I’ve done many, many times, but of course, this time I notice this etched/marked on the concrete.

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Ok…I’m feeling more of what I need from the universe. You sent me signs when I wanted them. I get it. People will hear this message. If I build it, they will come. I will connect. We will all make a difference and be here for others. But just to make sure I’m convinced, we pull into a spot at the movie theater yesterday and, of course, this is what the car next to us looked like.

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Motivation. Fun. A bit of pain. Purpose. Focus. This is what the road ahead looks for me. And I ask for your support along the way. I got my signs this week connecting my focus, and running, and spreading good in the world.

What sign do you need?

What will it take for you to support me today? What will it take for you to let others know if you’re struggling? To share your story? Or for you to just be there for those around you (listening without judging, and being fully present)?

Enjoy today.

1 down…9,999 more lives to touch

I got my first dollar yesterday!

The way I’ve been thinking about my campaign for Samaritans is that I want to touch 10,000 lives. I want 10,000 people to learn something about suicide or mental illness. I want 10,000 people to be more comfortable talking about suicide and mental illness. I want 10,000 people to listen and just be there for those around them. The money will come – but that’s not my focus. I told a co-worker that I was running, and he pulled out a dollar to be the first one to make a donation. Thanks Rich! Awesome! Although for some reason, nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine sounded like a lot more than 10,000. It was after he gave me the dollar that I told him about my plan to collect $1 from 10,000 people. Fun how the universe listens and responds.

I also got a package in the mail yesterday from Samaritans. A box of cash to make my future task of collecting money easier? Jet pack to boost me up the hills in Boston?

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It was filled with all sorts of goodies. Shirt, hat, water bottle, a few running snacks, and most importantly, a folder filled with all sorts of information that I need. Samaritans’ rocks! I wonder what they’re sending me tomorrow, and the next day, and next week? I’ll be running to my mailbox every day now :)

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I keep hearing that when people find out I’m running for Samaritans that I’ll start to hear more stories and people will share more with me. So far I’ve basically told my parents, my brother, and my brother-in-law. And with each of them we had at least a 1/2 hour phone conversation. We talked about my sister, Katherine. We talked about suicide. We talked about ideas to make others aware. We talked about life, and family, and parts of this that still (and will always suck), and we talked about hope for today and the future. Being a part of Samaritans is already starting conversations and spreading good energy. And it’s starting with the people that matter most.

Who should you go have an important conversation with?

And so it begins…Boston 2016 here I come!!

I got the call I’ve been waiting for…

This past Thursday I got the phone call I’ve been hoping for from Samaritans of Boston…

“We’d like to congratulate you on joining the Samaritan’s 2016 Boston Marathon team!”

Sweet! Awesome! This put my brain and body in action! Exciting times! I can’t wait to start training and get my journey started towards touching lives and raising awareness for this great charity in the fight against suicide.

I’ve been thinking about this for months. Such a relief to finally hear the official news! We had a quick phone call…and then…

The first thing I did…

…was look up the date of the marathon :)

Patriot’s Day of course. But that isn’t much help. Marathon Monday??? Nope, still not helping. Not a celebrated holiday in Minnesota (although I was surprised to see that Wisconsin is one of only three states to celebrate this as a public holiday). So when is it? The third Monday in April. And it has been since 1969 (providing a 3-day weekend in Massachusetts). Before that it was always celebrated on April 19th, the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War, in 1775.

So…what’s the date next year? Monday, April 18, 2016.

156 days away as of today (click here for countdown updates).

The next thing I did…

…I searched for when an 18-week marathon training plan should start leading up to Patriot’s Day. Mid- to end-December. Yikes – sooner than I thought :) And all I’ve heard about are those hills on the course. No lie, I ran up and down the steepest hill I could find 3x yesterday over lunch!!

How did all of this start for me?

Here’s my first email last year to Samaritan’s…this is how dreams start!

From: Dave Thompson [mailto:dcthmpsnep@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, April 12, 2015 12:35 AM
To: Eve Rabinowitz
Subject: Re: Samaritans – request for info on running with 2016 marathon team

Eve-

Hello. I’m interested to learn information about running in the 2016 Boston Marathon with the Samaritan team. My sister died of suicide in 2012 and her team (Katherine’s Pride) has been a top fundraising team for the Samaritans 5k/events the past few years. I am running my first marathon this May (in Minnesota), and I am interested to hear more information about possibly running with the Samaritan team next year in Boston. Most of my family still lives in NH/MA and this is definitely a cause that I believe in.

I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks!

-Dave