I am so thankful for finding the Boston Bulldogs Running Club, at precisely the right time and for precisely the right reasons. In my short time with the Club I have already made friends, been inspired, and received the kind of coaching and support I’ll need to have a shot at reaching the finish line this October. Running has always been a part of my own personal wellness regimen but joining the Boston Bulldogs has added an entirely new dimension. Being a part of a team, sharing experiences and supporting others in recovery while training simultaneously has added health benefits and a sense of fellowship that go beyond mere physical fitness. This is why I ask for your help in raising funds for the Boston Bulldogs Running Club. So that the team may expand its reach and continue to provide one more safe haven for those seeking freedom from alcohol and drug dependency.
My account of finding the Bulldogs only serves to reinforce the belief that I have found myself exactly where I am supposed to be and surrounded by all the right people as I begin this marathon adventure. In 2018, the person solely responsible for introducing and inspiring me to take up running as a youth, and similarly influencing my own journey of recovery, was facing a very serious health issue. During this period while on my weekly runs I would imagine the two of us finishing Boston after he undoubtedly recovered from his illness. I would envision us commemorating his running as a bandit over forty years ago and celebrating the anniversary and his new found health together. Sadly and tragically that person, our beloved brother Michael, passed away last year before having a chance to fulfill this runner's dream.
Now this year, just last month, by sheer luck of the draw, or divine intervention, or whatever you may choose to believe, I won a lottery for an official Boston Marathon bib. After excitedly sharing the news with family, my oldest brother immediately recommended I contact Coach Mike and the Boston Bulldogs. I was entirely unfamiliar with Mike, the team, or its purpose. Upon reaching out, I realized that there was a decades-long relationship between the Club, its mission, its founder and my own roots and experiences growing up in Jamaica Plain. Coach Mike and my late brother Michael had started the journey of recovery and physical wellness together over forty years prior and continued that relationship until his untimely passing.
Today I am preparing for the run, seeking to turn a dream into reality, carrying a similar message, and completing the circle. God willing, I will cross that finish line on October 11th with Michael by my side, if only in spirit and not in body.
Patrick H Hyde Park, MA
Acknowledgement - Special thanks to the City of Boston Credit Union, Boston Police Department and the B.A.A.
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