Longtime Fellow Flower Kathy Sebright (center in photo below) had an audaciously bold goal. She had committed to participate in “Upward Spiral,” a 24-hour local run/walk event to raise awareness about preventing depression, suicide, self-harm and bullying. Her goal, aside from helping her community bring awareness to these important issues, was to run 100 miles during these 24 hours.
An ambitious goal that she declared to her local posse of FFCrew ladies during their recent Declare It Day event this past February. Well, what happened next is the definition of sole sister etiquette. What else do you do when you hear your friend commits to running for 24 hours straight?
You SHOW UP and run right along side of her, of course.
We received the below note from Kathy’s friend Nancy, who shared their ‘Fiercely United’ story with us yesterday. You can’t help but read it and feel inspired. THIS is what Fellow Flowers is… women supporting women, in whatever they do.
“This morning, the /orange/ flower and now universal symbol for Fiercely United, had extra special meaning as one of our own FFCREW members, Kathy, put her heart and soles into CRUSHING her Declare It Day goal.
Our covert operation among some regional FFCrew members, which affectionately became known as the “24-Hour Surprise,” started ever so innocently after our Declare It Day party.
We received a message from our chief shenanigans officer, Meagon, less than 48 hours after our party that read, “We learned this past Tuesday that Kathy and her friend, Adele, are participating in a charity, indoor 24-hour run at Allegan Fieldhouse. I was thinking it would be totally awesome if we were able to get enough FFCREW members together to walk in, Fiercely United at the craziest hour (maybe the halfway mark, 3am) and love on her and her friend and maybe take turns running a lap or two with her?? But doing it as a complete surprise. Would anyone be interested?”
The magic of Fellow Flowers: we all responded affirmatively and immediately. YES.
We didn’t look to see how far it was to Allegan (turns out that it was 45 to 90 minutes away for each of us) and we didn’t think about how crazy it would be to get up in the middle of the night to go run around a 200m track. We didn’t ask for details about the event. We only thought about goal crushing and what it means to be fiercely united. How could we not try to help another Flower achieve her Declare It Day goal, and in such fierce fashion? And besides, none of us were going to turn down the opportunity to re-use props from our Declare It Day party.
As the date approached, we received our instructions, “Okay, let’s plan on meeting outside the gym at 5 am. We’ll walk in like the bosses we are, carrying the “they’ve got my back” sign. We will hand it to her and run behind her with our flowers held high (for our picture, of course) and carry on like warriors. Thank you for being crazy awesome!”
The look on Kathy’s face when we appeared in a boa, sunglasses and a crown carrying Fellow Flower-isms was priceless and made the cold, the early dark hour, and the running around the tiny track more than completely worth it. We just wanted to surprise her and let her know that we had her back in a fun, creative, and slightly crazy way, and run a few laps with her – but what happened was so much more. We each got in nine to ten miles of our own while we ran with Kathy, knocking out our training for the day. We got to know each other more during the time of putting one foot in front of the other (most of us had never actually met before a few weeks ago.) We watched goal crushing happening right in front of our eyes. We saw what happens when you set your mind, heart, and soles to something.
Congratulations to Kathy on completing 100 miles in 23 hours and 50 minutes, and crushing her DID goal in true Fellow Flowers style. Thank you Mel and Tori for creating this community that has turned strangers in to friends, that has helped us put one foot in front of the other in all areas of our lives, that has touched us all so deeply in ways that we cannot even begin to put in to words. Enjoy the pictures and the feeling of that warm embrace and sense of empowerment that is, quite simply, Fiercely United.”
This amazing story was written by FFCrew member Nancy Short.