Rachèl Louise Runs Dam to Dam for Join for Joy!

Rachèl Louise preparing her run for Joy!

“This last Saturday night I was at a concert of one of my favorite dreamy singer/songwriters. Although mesmerized by the beauty of his voice I was a bit distracted by my grandma-like feeling hips and knees. I was doing weird stretches in the middle of the crowd which didn’t really help.

I’d gone running 14 kilometers that morning. I’m not a huge sports fanatic. Balls thrown at me make me nervous and I prefer peaceful yoga or swimming in the ocean with a cocktailbar nearby. Nevertheless two years ago I made the bold move of training for a half marathon (why?). I’m a bit of an “all or nothing” kind of person.  I arrogantly mocked the 10k and started running. Unfortunately about two months into training my legs started hurting and the summer had charmed her way in. Before I knew it I’d traded my sneakers for white wine and nachos.

Fast Forward to two years later —> a bunch of people at my booking agency were signing up for the Dam to Dam walk in Amsterdam. How exciting! My all or nothing blood started flowing and one night after a show and a few glasses of wine, I wholeheartedly said signed up. I guess my health freak cells had awakened yet again and so I’d decided to go back to running. (I’m also genuinely sick of gym instructors yelling at me asking if I want a bikini body?!?! I just want to tell them to calm down.)

Last April I went to Kenya with J4J to see exactly what they do. I was along for the ride as an ambassador to teach music workshops and to spread the love of empowerment with my song “Big Girls”. All the clichés are true: I wanted to take kids home and I was blown away by their thankful souls. And maybe mostly about how JFJ is really making a difference and not just entertaining kids for a short period of time.

Returning home I spread the good news of J4J on the radio and pretty much every person who asked me about my trip got a full detailed response. Since then I’ve been wondering how I can further help out this truly good organization. The answer is 16 in this case. 16km of running for kids who stole a bit of my heart during the “Dam to Dam” run. So. Maybe I need to tune up the stretching next time I go out for 14 km.  But even though at times it makes my bones feel like a 50 year older woman with hip problems, I’ll keep working at it remembering those beautiful little faces.”

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