Well, she did it! Whitney Rodgers became the third (and fastest! Thanks for beating my time! ;] ) female runner for DribbleTheWorld as she crossed the finish line in Saturday, April 3, 2010. Here’s what Whit had to say about her journey:
If you told me 5 years ago that I would dribble a half marathon, I would say you were crazy. Even a year ago, I could barely run a mile!!! The Lord has really blessed me this last year and changed my heart so much. This time last year I barely knew what Ball for Lives was. I knew that Occh had dribbled the 2007 Marathon, but I was only beginning to find out why and now it is such a HUGE part of my life. Everyone involved has become my family and they continually challenge me to strive for God’s will in my life.
I loved seeing Ashley and Eric run their races. Running around NYC, cheering them on, was so much fun. Even at those races, I had no desire even to run a half, let alone to dribble one. Being a spectator is fun and it really motivates the participants, but it didn’t really challenge me. It is something I love doing, supporting others, and I can do it forever.
One day though, I received an e-mail for a World Vision 13.1 Marathon in NYC to help people who don’t have something as basic as clean drinking water; and I just felt that God was tugging at my heart strings to get out of my comfort zone, to challenge myself physically, to do something for others. I really didn’t give it a second thought, I e-mailed Occh and Ash and said I was doing it! If you know me, you could tell I am no runner and at barely 5ft, I was never encouraged to play basketball or even dribble one, but I had no doubt that I could do this if I put it in the Lord’s hands. It was something I really wanted to accomplish before my 30th birthday (yes, I am 30!!)
Occh and Ash had to basically teach me how to dribble. Occh made me do drills everyday to work on my ball handling. He really knows what he is doing. Through it all, everyone in Ball for Lives was so encouraging, always believing in me. I just want to thank everyone: Thank you Occh, Ash, Mundo, Steve, Jimmy, Cristian, Ron, Femundo, Ana, Morgan, Fairview Gospel Church, ACTION! Group!!! Thank you for your love and prayers!
This past Saturday was one of the most amazing days of my life. It meant so much to know how many people were standing behind me, but most of all I knew that Jesus was in control. I have two good legs, two good arms, I am capable of doing this. There are people all over the world who are suffering, who are hurting, who need food, who need water, why can’t I run 13.1 miles for them? And I did it! And it was not that hard considering what others have to go through daily. To think that God could challenge me, that He could use me, boggles my mind, but He did, and He can use you too!!
You may not be called to dribble a marathon, but maybe you can visit an elderly person in your community, or volunteer at an afterschool program, who knows? I am so excited to see what He does next in my life.
Whit was amazing on Saturday! Great job! Thank you so much for sharing with others your desire to continually be used by Christ! The Lord is pleased with your compassionate heart and willingness to take action in helping others halfway across the globe. Your story is definitely an inspiring one-one that only Christ could write! Thank you for EVERYTHING you do for Ball for Lives. We love you girl!!