This weekend, Kelly and two co-workers from Athens Orthopedic Clinic, Chip Ogburn and Zeb Rogers, took on an incredible challenge: running the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail in three days. The Georgia section of the Trail, including the Approach Trail, is 85.2 miles and the guys finished the run covering about 30 miles per day. The Trail starts at Springer Mountain (just north of Amicalola Falls) and leaves the state at Bly Gap. The highest point of the Georgia section of the trail reaches above 4,400 feet, and never dips below 2,500 feet.
This Appalachian Trail run was coordinated to help raise money for a little girl with Rett Syndrome. Anna Kate Fraiser is a four-year old little girl who loves people. She also enjoys going for walks with family and swimming. Anna Kate has Rett Syndrome, a debilitating neurological disorder that predominantly affects girls. She has lost her ability to speak and use her hands. She never learned to walk. The men's goal is to attempt to pay help pay off the handicap van the family purchased last spring. Having the van has enabled Anna Kate to remain involved in all of her family's activities and travel to therapies and doctors with ease.
Kelly, Chip, and Zeb showed awesome strength and perseverance over their three-day run. Day 2 was definitely the hardest, but they never gave up! The day started dark, at 26 degrees, and with strong winds. The 32 mile day finished at Unicoi State Park with families eager to hug their daddies! The beauty of the trail was something the men weren't prepared for-- the State of Georgia is a breathtaking state if we take time to visit and appreciate all that our state has to offer!
A great verse to remember when you are facing challenges is:
I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize… Philippians 3:13
Many 5K's, 10K's, half and full marathons, and other active events are put on to raise money for a certain cause. Find one that supports something near and dear to you, and use that as your motivation for training and participating! If you can't find an event that supports your particular interests, consider starting one yourself!
You never know where an idea will lead!
"When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place."