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I'm back, baby!

Rachel Stern

Rachel Stern

Now that my toenails have finally begun growing back in, it's time to lace up my sneakers for the next half-marathon (or full marathon?!?.)

Almost a year ago, I put myself out there and talked about my battle with obesity and my desire to become a stronger person through accomplishing this lifelong goal of completing a marathon. I signed up through Chai Lifeline selfishly. I needed that accountability. I needed to know that through raising money to help sick kids, I wouldn't let them or myself down by not crossing that finish line. And I did it! Up until I crossed the start line, I told myself I would never run, walk, or crawl another half marathon ever again. It was too hard. My knees hurt, my body ached. It was good that I was about to try it, but once was enough.

And then the run began.

6 months later and I still don't have the words to fully describe the multitude of emotions I experienced over those never ending 3 hours, 1 minute, and 42 seconds. By mile 3 I was feeling done. I knew the only way out was through, so I picked up my knees and tried to run a little bit faster. By the time I hit mile 7, the first Chai Lifeline cheering section, I was a mess of emotion - proud, happy, scared, in pain, in awe, and inspired. I spent the remaining 6 miles of my jog sobbing at random. If you've ever felt weak in your life, even for just a moment, this race with Team Lifeline will show you what it means to be strong. I could not believe what I was accomplishing, even as I was accomplishing it. In my weakest moments, when the next mile marker seemed so out of reach, I would inevitably see another Chai Lifeline runner - after all, there were hundreds of us - and even though I was running by myself, I never felt alone. Team Lifeline was there. Racing alongside me. Cheering me on. And I was there to cheer Team Lifeline on! That yellow shirt was my marker. The people that fundraised for months and showed up with no sleep, just like I did, in the hope of making the lives of others better - they were my new family. And when I felt tired and weak and saw a father pushing his warrior-goddess-cancer-surviving daughter in a wheelchair towards that same finish line, I truly understood what it meant to be strong and to be powerful. To not give in to pity and despair, and to instead dig deep and push through. To overcome.

What started as a journey to complete a personal goal ended in the birth of a new understanding of what real strength is. It's those kids. Those parents. Those siblings. The ones that dig deep EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. To carry on and endure.

Last time I ran for me. This time I run for them.

Please help me raise as much money as humanly possible to help the children and families that Chai Lifeline dedicates their lives to.

Join me.

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Comments

$9,032.18
raised of $18,000 goal
 

Donations

$5,000.00
1. Teach Florida
$2,500.00
2. Fuego By Mana
$1,514.00
3. Anonymous
$18.18
4. Eli Klinkowitz
You got this Rachel!!! DO IT FOR THE KIDS!! Now your fundraising total will always have "chai" (cents) in it :)

Fundraising History

Total Amount Raised since 2017
$13,986.18
$4,954.00
raised in 2017
4 donors