It was an adventure. I had a great time for two states with Mike Smith, Mike Evans, Lisa and Sister Mary Beth.
They live like sardines in that RV. I had always thought that it would be so much fun to travel that way, and it was for 2 days. But 62 days?
I showed up at the airport in Phoenix to meet Sister MB and Lisa at around 10:30 pm. Lisa was walking like she had been riding a horse for a week. They were both absolutely exhausted after 50 miles in Utah that day, then the flight to AZ. We made it to the hotel in time for about 4 hours of sleep, which they informed me was a long night of sleep for them. They were so grateful to sleep in a bed that wasn’t moving down the highway at 70 miles per hour. (Eventually, I would understand)
We arose at 4:30 am and headed over to the Freelife Headquarters in Phoenix. Colleen Rossi the AZ Captain was so helpful and wonderful. What wonderful, generous people that we spent the day with. Thank you everyone at Freelife! So after an interview, greetings, a prayer and quick route review, we were on our way! Smiling and only sweating a little, at 6 am and 90 degrees. The route was a concrete sidewalk through what I consider a busy street. Very little shade, very hard hot surface. Great camaraderie with the fun "Jule" people, Colleen, Eric, Robyn, Brian, Brennan, Scott, The fun "Chi" shirt guy, (sorry) and all the other people who joined in that day. I was about to experience what they had been doing for the last 40 days.
Lisa , Sister MB and the duo-Mike’s were amazing. Sister MB pounded out 20 miles in her black habit, then spent the rest of the day taking care of other people. Always helping others. Every time even I would come near the RV, Sister MB or Mike would ask if I needed anything. So nice. Mike Smith works all day long, keeping things going. Lisa has a long, long day. She starts off with a fast limping gait in her croc’s. Big smile on her face. The 15 of us on her tail can hardly keep up with her limping start. She changes shoes and grabs quick snacks during the day. That beginning limp evolves into a healthy run. I am amazed at Lisa's running. She visits with many people on the route, returning calls and messages too. She is trying her best to maintain the project as well as her family, life and business at home. She is the ultimate multi-tasker, all while completing her daily 50 mile ultra marathon. With 10 miles left to go, she turns on “her jets” and quickly finishes the final 10 miles while she is in her zone. She completed 50 miles, press, meeting people, visiting, resting and fueling all by 6:30 pm, and is rewarded with an ice bath. We had a wonderful party with the “Jule” people at Freelife and eventually we were on the road. I am sold on the products, especially the energy one! We stopped for a fast food dinner and were on our way to Las Vegas. We were in for a long drive.
We were riding in what I will now refer to as the “SS Jiffy Pop”.
I had watched the movie “UltraMarathon Man” in which Dean Karnazes runs a marathon in every state over 50 days. Pretty cool movie, amazing, inspirational feat which Dean completes with style. He raised funds for children and other projects. He is amazing, has inspired so many people. As a bonus to the movie viewers, Dean looks pretty good with his shirt off. I have to smile when I think of the differences in the ways that Lisa is traveling and the way UltraMarathon man traveled. If you get a chance….check out the luxury bus and private jets that he and his crew traveled on. There was almost no chance of shaking out a dental filling while traveling on Dean’s bus. The Run Hope Crew may need to see the dentist when they return home.
Anyway, the RV is great but it is loud and very bouncy. There is not much sleep had while driving after the runs each day. Sister Mary Beth was so kind to make a space for me on her bed. I had to laugh at first while my heart was in my stomach as we hit each small bump. One of my favorite memories of the trip will be enjoying the beauty of crossing Hoover Dam at 2am. Sister MB and I were like two little girls, it was an amazing sight all lit up and so quiet.
We arrived in Las Vegas around 3 am, parked for about 2 hours and tried to sleep. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I remember is seeing Sister with a pillow over her head, leading me to believe that I may have been snoring. (So, sorry!)
We got up, and met Ernie Rambo to start our day in Las Vegas at 5:30 am. Ernie and all the LV people were wonderful. We met great people! Thanks to everyone who came out! The route was again a concrete path, but no traffic to fight through. It was nice, but another hot day in the high 90’s. My favorite miles were a few miles that we ran through KMART and Lowes. I seriously thought we might be arrested. What a sight and smell we must have been. Our pace through a busy Kmart was pretty impressive! We also did many miles around an indoor parking garage. It was a fun, but long hot day. I developed some blisters, which slowed me down, and I eventually wimped out in hopes of saving my feet for the following week in Montana and Idaho. Sister MB powered out her 20 miles with her usual smile and cheer. Lisa collected several dollars in change from the road over the day and ran her last few miles hard. My feet were really sore and I was assessing my damage when Lisa finished. She sat down and took off her shoes and socks. She too had new blisters, but she still had 400 miles more to go! Again, I realized……It was all relative. I could limp home and complain. She would be doing it all again the next day! Just like the movie GROUNDHOG DAY.
We had a quick ice bath, which felt great to me. Lisa had a much-needed massage from Rudi an 83 y/o massage guru. At around 7:30 pm it was time for “Jiffypop” to start heading to California.
I was done, time to go to my cozy hotel bed and a glass of red wine. Hugs all around then the crew went bouncing down the road. They all look so tired, they work hard. 9 more days, and they will be done. Only 400 more miles to run.
It is all relative. “Almost done” means that Lisa only has to run the distance between Driggs Idaho and Polson Montana.
God speed SS Jiffypop!
Thank you so much Run Hope Crew. Without Lisa, I would still be whining and not be running let alone covering 80 miles in 2 days!
This project is not about the running. It is about helping kids around the globe. I was able to spend time talking to Sister Mary Beth about the children that she works with all over the world. The orphanages can feed a child with 6 cents per day! I can help 58 kids per day if I give up one latte. (SMB didn't tell me that, I just really needed some coffee at the time). Talking to Sister MB makes it all real, she is the real deal. Her life is dedicated to helping children. Lisa and SMB are a great team fighting for kids, they just do it best with running shoes on. They "Just Do IT".
Lets donate if we can! How about the loose change that we can find in our drawers, cars, or more! Let’s help these kids.
Hope to see you all in Montana next Thursday June 17th!