I used to love running. When I was in my early 20’s I ran all the time. I did races every weekend; rain, snow, hot or cold, it didn’t matter, I was running. I had all the gear, joined various running groups, Nike Town was my store! Even into my early 30’s – I was running! Then that all changed four years ago when Red Paw started.  For the first time in almost my entire life I stopped working out and running. For three years I literally, literally, did nothing but eat, sleep and breathe Red Paw. Then last year, after seeing a picture of myself in an article about Red Paw and not loving the way I looked (or how I had felt for a while), I decided things had to change, for my well being and also Red Paw’s.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 8.12.02 PMSo, I started to work out again (notice I did not say I started running again) and in true Jen fashion, I dove in head first! I started off by doing a 10-day cleanse and the Insanity workout at the same time. This did not immediately help with my physical and mental state. (No coffee and lots of sore body parts!). If you don’t know what Insanity is, think military Bootcamp minus the commitment and yelling! And truly, the name pretty much says it all!! It was in fact insane! Once I completed the 90 day Insanity challenge I moved on to Cross Fit and boxing classes and then a personal trainer for power lifting. I felt great! I was getting back to my fighting weight, getting my six pack back and happy about where I was at physically and mentally.

But enough about me…This is about what, or should I say who, motivated me to finally start running again. Thad Dickinson, a supporter from Atlanta, GA., contacted us and said that he’d been following Red Paw’s Facebook and Twitter pages for a while, read our story about Short Rib (and his feline mom), one of our fire kittens who we rescued from a fire. Sadly, Short Rib’s injuries were too much for his little body; however, his mom recovered and was reunited with her humans.

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Within days of hearing Short Rib’s story, he registered for the Philadelphia Marathon and decided to run the 26.2 miles in Short Rib’s memory to raise funds in support of Red Paw’s other injured and displaced pets like Short Rib! Awesome right?! Thad is not an avid runner, but unlike me he has run three half-marathons and completed a marathon in 2012. So cool, right?! I loved the idea and was so honored that he was coming to Philly and doing this for us that it inspired me to start running again. Solidarity, right?!

Well, turns out I hate running now! I don’t know what happened, I used to be so good at it and I thought I was in pretty good shape! But, it’s not like riding a bike! I mean, it is technically (one foot in front of the other), but boy now it’s like a slow form of torture! In a way it’s my own fault. When I run it’s only for 3 miles (I heard Thad is up to 20!) – the catch is that I make myself do it in 30 minutes or less, partially because of my competitive nature, but mostly because I want it over with so badly! The quicker I run, the quicker I’m done! There’s a logic there somewhere.

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 7.51.03 PMAnyway, my point is that as much as I’d love to be one of those people again, you know, the ones who run for stress relief or who run to get out into the fresh air or just run for the love of running, the truth is I’d rather just lift a hundred plus pounds over my head and call it a day! Still, I’m going to begrudgingly run my 3 miles  and live vicariously through Thad – the guy who actually does love to run or at least who loves to run for Red Paw! Check out his story here and please help support him in supporting us:

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