You may or may not know that the Tower Garden is made and distributed by the Juice Plus Company, a 47 year old company based in Memphis Tennessee, whose mission is to “Inspire Healthy Living Around the World.” Jay Martin, the President and founder of the Juice Plus Company is all about giving back. The Juice Plus Foundation actively supports The Volunteers of America, The Boys and Girls Club and The Children’s Hunger Fund. Jay even donated his own money to build what is now the Juice Plus technical center for the Boys and Girls Club of Memphis.
Another organization The Juice Plus Foundation donates to every year is the St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, right there in Memphis. Juice Plus is the lead sponsor of the St Jude’s Marathon that is held on the first weekend in December each year and they have been since 2002! Many of the Juice Plus head office staff can be found either running as a St Jude’s Hero or volunteering on race day.
So if you know me, you’ll know I have always been active. As a child I was playing some kind of sport, representing the school or a local club, almost every day. I was then a skydiver, I was Crossfitter and in the last 5 years I started teaching Group Fitness classes and became a personal trainer. Being active is just in my blood. Despite that, one thing you would never see me do is run. I used to joke with friends and say “If you ever saw me running, you better start running too.” I just did not enjoy it at all!
Being part of the Juice Plus Family, I knew Juice Plus was a big sponsor of the marathon, which is St Jude’s main fundraising event for the year. One year, at one of our Juice Plus conferences, a corporate staff member told a story of a young boy who had been treated at St Jude’s. He was in and out of there for years. Going through treatment, in remission, the cancer returned, treatment again. It was a roller coaster ride. You could see people all around wiping tears. At the end he said “And the reason I know all the details is because that boy was my son.”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I decided if, and that was a BIG IF, I was ever to run a half or full marathon, it would be the St Jude’s marathon.
Fast forward a couple of years to when I mentioned this to a friend. Of all the friends I could have told I picked the one who likes to run. What was I thinking?!?! I mean, she actually really enjoys running. Crazy! And then she did it. She asked me to run the half with her. Yes me. I had only once ran more than 3 miles and that was in a Color Run with a fair bit of stopping, starting and slowing down at the color stations.
I froze for a bit and told her I’d think about it. I was torn between wanting to do something to help and loving a challenge, but I absolutely hated running. After a few days I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants, my “Suck it up buttercup” shirt and I told her “Yes! I will do the half with you!” After all, what I’m going to go through whilst training and racing is nothing compared to what the kids and families at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital are going through.
We decided to run for a reason. We registered as St Jude Heroes and committed to raising money for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
This is where I need your help!
If you would like to donate to St Jude’s and sponsor my run. I know the families of the kids would appreciate it immensely. I would greatly appreciate it too!
So here we are, one week away from race day! Since we’ve been training I’ve ran well over 100 miles, I’ve ran my longest distances ever, I’ve got PR after PR and I’ve learnt a few things about myself. I’ve realized I can do anything I want to, even if I don’t like it. And it wasn’t that I didn’t like running. I just had no idea what I was doing! I was going off way too fast among other things. It’s kind of crazy, I’m actually really enjoying it! So much so I’m considering another half two weeks after, and another a few weeks after that. Some of my friends are wondering who I am and what the heck did I do with the real Dee?
Whether you have $1 you can spare or $100, every little helps. We have over 8000 subscribers to our newsletter. If everyone donated just $1 dollar we’d have collectively raised over $8000! That would be incredible!