The Turning Point of the Race!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of running in The Salvation Army National Capital Area Command’s inaugural Kettle Classic 5K race in Washington, DC. All proceeds from the registration fees to the company sponsors of the race benefited The Salvation Army’s Turning Point Center in DC, a residential facility for homeless women and children in need.
The toughest part of the race? Waking up at 5:30 a.m.! I am definitely not a morning person.
Before the event began, I took part in a lively group stretch lead by a physical trainer and a gigantic red kettle who danced on stage. I was still trying to wake up and thus bemoaning the freezing temperatures and wet, dewy grass beneath my feet. My eyes were puffy because of allergies and I was clearly not looking or feeling my best.
But as the sun began to rise and shine a little brighter, warming my skin, I was reminded of why we were there. It wasn’t really about the running, though that part was certainly fun and competitive. It was about supporting the literal “turning point” for the homeless mothers and children who are served at this center in DC.
The turning point is that life-changing juncture when a single mother finds a safe place for her family to live; when she receives job training to transition back into work life; when she undergoes valuable family counseling that awakens a lost faith in God; when she can reenter life mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically stronger; when the sun begins to shine brighter in her life and the lives of her children.
I was motivated. My jumping jacks were a little more energetic, my dance moves with the kettle were a little groovier. At this point, who cares about the race? Let’s get up and dance because we’re helping to strengthen the physical and spiritual lives of families in need!
Solidifying my motivation was Major Steve Morris of The Salvation Army’s National Capital Area Command. During the opening ceremony, he reminded us that a staggering 41% of the homeless population is comprised of single women with children and that one in five DC residents live in poverty.
The Turning Point Center offers a long-term solution for impoverished, single mothers struggling to raise their children. Each stride to the finish line was the equivalent of a mother in need making strides towards a healthy life. And even though it was only a 5K, remembering this gave me the gusto to finish the race fast and strong!
Since the race was such a success, a 2nd annual event is in the works for next year!