I know I’ve heard those words before, but today they came to life. I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5K in Los Angeles. It is the first of ten races I will run over the next year to celebrate and collect friends for My Refuge House.

I was in the 6th wave of people to cross the starting line this morning. The shadows of night were still lingering. I ran about 500 feet when I realized that the person who was about to cross the FINISH line first had just past me going in the opposite direction! As I neared the halfway point of the 5K, the winner of the half-marathon blazed past. That’s when it hit me.

Run your own race.

Running your own race doesn’t mean you run alone.

Running your own race can still mean you share a journey with others.

Running your own race doesn’t mean you give up when others get “there” before you do.

Running your own race means you avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others with judgment.

Running your own race means you tap into what inspires you to keep going when the going gets tough.

Running your own race means you embrace where you are and go from there as yourself. This guarantees you arrive at your destination as yourself.

Running your own race means you find your happy pace and encourage others as they find theirs.

The girls of My Refuge House are all running their own race for restoration. They are each running with different paces and different needs along the way.

I ran today’s race in honor of the amazing house moms who encourage our girls every step of the way along this race.

Even while the house moms are running their own races, they are there for our girls. I know they have hard days when the race seems uphill. I know they have days when a closer water stop would help. Amidst these days, I’ve never known them to give up. I’ve seen them laugh and cry and hold each other as they get through tough spots. I wore a superhero cape today to represent the invisible cape I think each of these women wear every day they show up to work.

The shadows of night were still lingering when I began my race this morning. As I finished, I felt connected to and encouraged by strangers along the way, and the poetic nature of it being daylight by the time I finished was not lost on me.

In their determination and faith, our house moms encourage each other and our girls as they each emerge on their own race in their own time from night into day.

House Moms

The REAL Superhero House Moms of MRH

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.

Countdown until we hope to see you in Dallas at Fashioned For Freedom: