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Published: November 11th 2014
As some of you know we just embarked on one of our biggest journeys in providing Passion Foundation's leadership programming, in a multi-faceted partnership, for young women in Canada and Lebanon.
Nine months ago we partnered with Sarah Jamieson
; a Vancouver based woman who set a 10 year project to raise $1M for charities through running. After watching May El Khalil’s TED talk
about starting the Beirut Marathon Sarah said she knew that race was what she wanted to run to end her 10 year passion project called RUN4ACAUSE. For her final race she chose to partner with our Global Sorority
initiative. Together we raised friends and funds to create a partnership between the Beirut Marathon, a school in Surrey, BC and two schools in Beirut, Lebanon.
For a number of reasons, this was the most challenging trip we have ever taken.
Firstly, Sarah convinced me to run the marathon too! Yup, my first marathon (I only started running a year and a bit ago). And secondly, with so many people involved, it took a lot of time, energy, and resources to get everything organized. Having started a full time contract for the City a few months
back, finishing my Masters Degree ( 3 months to go!!!), training for the marathon, and running Passion Foundation
I’ve been stretched thin the last while. However, with lots of bumps in the road it happened over the last couple weeks. Since Tia’s amazing husband, Dr. Pete, is Lebanese we were able to stay with his family out of the city for the first week. The town of Baabda is quaint and beautiful however, I got a cold/flu three days in which literally knocked me out cold with a fever for 21 hours and followed by 5 days of a chest cold (yup less than a week before my first marathon). Then due to safety issues of running outside I had to take a room at a hotel in the city to try and recover and prepare for the race. Regardless of the set backs, the mission was accomplished.
We provided 20 young women in Surrey, BC and 30 young women in Lebanon (two schools and a Syrian/ Palestinian refugee settlement) with leadership training. The girls in Surrey made a book called "A day in my life" for the girls in Lebanon and the girls in Lebanon made the
girls in Surrey a superhero cape and a flag! We'll be connecting them online soon! We finished the trip with the marathon. I have to tell you it was one of the hardest things I’ve done. Not just the commitment to the six months of training, which takes up 12+ hours a week, but everything else that goes into it. I thought I was a fairly humble person however my ego took a big beating on Sunday. My ego began very apparent when I started to get surging pains in my knees from my IT bands tightening up around the 30km mark. I set a goal of 4:20 and knew I couldn’t do it. If I pushed too hard I'd seriously injury myself. I had to let six months of timed preparation go. I had to let go of the thoughts of not being good enough. I had to let go of every person who passed me and the sadness I felt for being injured. For not taking care of my body enough. I had to let go of the thoughts and feelings that people would think I wasn’t strong enough. I realized how much pride I had and I
Global Sorority Superheros
Girls running take for the documentary in their new superhero capes
had to muster my "real" strength not give up. I remember around the 35km I started thinking of why I was running this marathon, what it really meant, and why it was important. May, the founder of Beirut Marathon, says "Peacemaking is not a spring, it's more like a marathon" I realized right then that my life has been about doing more when really is should be about enjoying more. Another lesson I take with me. Something shifted and I let go. The pain was still there but it became less of my focus.
With a little support from Sarah, some limping, walking/ running internals I finished the race along side Sarah. When we crossed the finish line I cried. I cried because I did it and perhaps even because a little part of me thought I couldn’t. I cried because I was proud of myself that I didn’t give up even though my body hurt so badly. What an emotional state I was in. It was really something else. A moment I’ll never forget and probably never repeat (hahah) however I’m glad I did it.
I realized this morning, after a long sleepless journey home that running
Global Sorority Group1
Working on their community Passion Project! What great ideas they had!
that marathon was a pivotal point for me and I'm excited to see it as part of our documentary when its cut and in the can.
And on another note, for all you travellers, Lebanon IS worth visiting. In fact, I would love to there again and see more. If not for the ruins in Byblos, then for the food, the kind hearted people which you will find everywhere (if you use your street/ travel smarts), the beautiful waterfront, or the endless other things we didn’t have time to see. I’d also recommend the Beirut Marathon for you runners. The night before the race the founder May El Khalil invited us all to her house where she threw a private party for all the VIPs participating in the race. Ambassadors, elite runners, and the like, came together to connect, drink and have dinner. We met a man who had been bringing his little boy to run the 5km race while he ran the marathon for the last 3 years. We met another father who dressed up as Batman with his son to do the 10km race. It truly is an international day of peace runners from all
Sarah and May
May and the Beirut Marathon team invited us to their office for a tour and interview for our documenary
ages and walks of life.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this journey, being a part of it and keeping us safe with your thoughts and prayers. That's it for this year. Next year we have 3 great new places to complete the documentary and really start the global vision of creating a sisterhood of young women with enriched lives to better our world.
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