Posted by: Kimberly Dredger | June 25, 2010

Walking Wild, Missoula

(This post is a duplicate of an article I have submitted for the Run Wild Missoula newsletter.  If you have been a frequent reader of my blog, I thank you whole-heartedly, and warn you that some of the following will sound familiar.)

I jumped on-board this marathon train back in February, the day of Bob Heinle’s funeral.  I awoke in the wee hours, heartsick and grieving for a family I didn’t know, but also for a community I do know, knowing that all of us lost a hero, who kept on giving to the world, even after a petty thief stole his ability to move, stole his ability to hug his wife, stole his ability to pet his dog.  After the shooting which put him in a wheelchair, Bob and his wife Lisa chose to devote their efforts to raising money for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, who use the money to help care for people who live with paralysis, while also trying to find a cure for paralysis.  Bob died eleven years after he tried to apprehend the petty thief who tried to rob a bank but instead stole Bob’s legs.  Bob died, but his dream of a cure for paralysis lives on.

The day of his funeral was the day I decided to start training.  At that time, I was over-weight, middle-aged, unemployed and had never thought of myself as an athlete.  My first walk was to go down to Runner’s Edge and talk to Anders… and you know what?  He treated me as if I were ALREADY an athlete!  He didn’t talk to the overweight woman of a very certain age… he spoke to the athlete behind the flesh.  The athlete I didn’t know was there.  And now, I am ready to face my first marathon.  Am I scared?  Oh, heck, yes.  But I know I can do it.  Because not only have Anders, Vicky and all the great folks at Runner’s Edge been helping me each step of the way, but Run Wild Missoula has been the absolutely best help anyone could ask for.

I signed up right away for the Run Wild Missoula Walking the Marathon class, led by Candace Crosby and Rolf Tanberg.  Twice a week these coaches have led us on the adventure of finding our marathon legs.  Through rain and sleet and blistering sun, they’ve been right there, encouraging us, advising us, taking care of us… the little ducklings paddling along behind them as we all try to become better walkers.  The workshops and classes these two have planned, the walks they’ve led us on, the advice and care they have given have brought us to the point where “beginning” is actually exciting, and “doing” is fulfilling.  They have shown us the finish line.

And now, I am somewhat smaller.  Still unemployed, but stronger in all aspects.  My legs are walker’s legs.  I’ve done the long walks.  I’m ready.  If I get to the finish line on July 11th, it will be in large part thanks to Run Wild Missoula.  This is a great organization, and I look forward to more years to come.  Thank you, all of you, for welcoming me into the fold.  See you on Race Day!

6/22 – 4 miles
6/23 – 3 miles speed training with Candace and the walking class
6/24 – 3 miles
6/25 – 5 miles –  weight 175.6 pounds

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Responses

  1. My Darling Sister

    I am pleased to note that you are finally referring to yourself as the athlete you are.

    Your lovin Brother Bill

  2. Kimberly –
    I am so excited for you – this experience will change your life in so many wonderful ways. Crossing that finish line is a moment what will stay with you forever and you deserve all the pride and accomplishment that brings. You are an amazing person and I am so honored that Bob is able to help you through your training…words are not enough to express my gratitude. Remember to take in everything along the way on marathon day – the true joy is in the journey. You are the hero.
    Lisa Heinle


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