Every quilt that Shirt Off Your Back Quilts makes has a story. The story for my quilt begins when my daughter, Joy, joined the high school cross country team her sophomore year in high school. She had participated in sports before, mostly in the pool but had never run before. She was having a difficult time figuring out how to pace herself to make it through a 5k without walking. I was an off and on again runner so I went on a runs with her to help her learn how to pace. We had a triumphant practice run that saw her finish her first 3 mile run without stopping. After that we were both hooked on the running and the time together. We went from running 5ks to half marathons to marathons. Joy quickly became a much stronger and faster runner than I was but we enjoyed running together so much that we figured out how to do it together even when we weren’t running at the same pace. Each shirt on the quilt represents not only a race done together but countless training runs, plane trips, pre and post race waiting, and hours of fun planning races to run together. The backbone of the quilt is the 10 shirts from 10 straight years of running the Atlanta Thanksgiving Half marathon together (2004-2014). We ran our first half marathon together when Joy was a junior in high school and Joy continued to come home so that we could run the race together for many years after graduating from Georgia Tech. Unfortunately, life has gotten too busy and Joy is no longer able to come home every year for Thanksgiving. But what happy memories! I love having the quilt out on display so that each time I pass it, I can be thankful for that season of life where we were able to spend so much time doing something we enjoyed together.
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