Jackie Gingrich Cushman

A few years before the marathon, due to her arthritis, Kathy had days where she could barely get out of bed. Her desire to complete the 26.2 miles of a marathon was inspiration in itself. After training for months, we finished the marathon in 7 hours and 48 minutes -- not the fastest time, but a victory for us. We had walked on and achieved our goal!

Since then, Kathy and I have completed marathons in Dublin, Ireland and Portland, Ore. Last fall, Kathy completed the Buenos Aires marathon. Our sights are now set on the Pasadena, Calif., Marathon on May 20th.

While it's over three months away, it's pretty close in marathon training terms. When training, long runs are often done every other week, allowing your body to rest and recover before the next long run. Since my goal is to finish, feel good and avoid injury, I alternate running with walking.

Yesterday, I began my training in earnest. I woke up dreading the 8 miles I had to complete and was thrilled when it was done. A bit sore today, but not too much considering I have not gone that far in over a year.

Why a marathon now? To help raise money for the Arthritis Foundation -- our little A2A4A team has raised over $160,000 so far for the Arthritis Foundation -- as well as to be involved in something bigger than myself. Most importantly, it's a way to spend time with my sister Kathy.

Once again, it's time for us to "Walk On."


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.