In February of this year my work announced a sponsorship for anyone who wanted to run the St. George, Utah marathon. Knowing that this would be good for many reasons, I called my Papaw, one of my best friends, to ask him about it… it turned into a challenge!

Papaw Billy was a great runner back in the day, on most mornings he would run 10 miles and then work 10 hour shifts at Ford, in his older days walking was his style! Preparing for mini and full marathons was an addiction and a sense of accomplishment for him. It was a way for him to work through life, kind of like therapy I guess.

He challenged me that I could not beat his time, but also insured me that he wouldn’t have it any other way. So there I was, starting out marathon training. Not only did I just start running, but I watched motivational videos, starting watching what I eat (a little) more, read articles about what people love and hate about training, and asked for advice from people that I knew were runners.

At the beginning of March, Papaw died of a heart attack on the treadmill… I got the call and booked a flight home (Fun Fact: I also moved from Kentucky to Utah in February) From there it took me about 3 weeks, (a long 3 weeks of being alone back in Utah and mourning) before I could even lace up my shoes again. I was starting my training all over again, but this time it was with a different purpose.

I wasn’t training for competition or an ‘I told you so’, I was training for memories, love, conversation and relationship. I was running for Papaw Billy! To help me get started again I began to post about it on social medias like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. It took off pretty well, I started feeling good about running again! 3 miles was turning into the new 1 mile, and my tears were soon fading into sweat and lactic acid.

My friends were immediately liking, commenting, and sharing my #RunForBilly posts, and I was getting Snapchats of #RunForBilly workouts! I was getting more support than I ever thought I would. My Kentucky friends were staying in contact with me through this journey of mourning and triumph.

How amazing is that?! By showing people vulnerability and a positive outlet on such a surprising tragedy, it let them know that community is where victory is won! I can’t do this alone, and no one expects me to.

To stay updated on my marathon training you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (morgan.stuck) ! To support my marathon training use #RunForBilly on you next physical exercise and tag me in!

Keep up the sass, seriously!

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