Who we are and what we do

So. I am back at it – training for a full marathon and fundraising $10,000 for clean water in Africa through Team World Vision. It’s been 2.5 years since I broke my leg, and about 2 years and 2 years and 7 months since my last half marathon and fundraising effort.

I have never run a full marathon as a mother of three. I haven’t run a “real race” since recovering from a fractured tibia. I have never raised $10,000.

I am scared to death.

Many people in our circle know us as Johnny, the Team World Vision guy, Manda his wife, our kids Sydney, Elijah, and Lucy. We are Team Huddle. It has been so long since I’ve done this that it now occurs to me that there are people in my life who are just learning about who we are and what we do (and I guess more importantly WHY we do what we do).

So I guess a re-introduction is in order.

Hello. My name is Manda. I’m 36 years old, wife of 12 years, mom of 3, and the last thing I want to do this March is run a marathon.

It’s not that I don’t love running. I do. It’s not that I’m inexperienced – I’m technically not! I’ve run two full marathons and several half marathons (three? maybe four?). But it’s been one of those years. I’m feeling older than I ever have. I haven’t worked out in, uh, years. I eat my feelings a LOT. I have this weird dry-eye problem right now that I’ve Googled way too much and I can’t wear my contacts and it’s making me nuts to have to wear glasses. My kids are growing up and raising them is HARD. I have one in 3rd grade – we are trying to mold her into a citizen and dude, that’s no JOKE. Then I have a kindergartener  who is just trying to learn the basics in school while still playing LEGO 24-7 (dude, sorry, you have to learn how to read. You will definitely use that one later in life I PROMISE). And then we have a Threenager. You know the type: begs you for a waffle, then once she is served the waffle is crushed that it’s not cereal. Tantrum ensues. Rinse and repeat 34 times and then throw in potty training. FUN TIMES.

And did I mention we just adopted a puppy? OHMYWORD SOMEONE STOP ME.

For 12 years I’ve been married to an amazing man who is absolutely heartbroken for the poor, is called to serve the people of Africa, is a pastor in Los Angeles, and also works for this amazing nonprofit called Team World Vision for the past 6 years which leads people like you and me (well, let’s hope there’s someone else out there like me who is feeling OLD with a lot of KIDS and is still stress eating her way through the Halloween candy post-election, can I get an AMEN?) into running marathons and raising money so that our brothers and sisters in Africa and their kids can get clean water. Did I mention that he hates running? But he runs marathons, gets up early in the morning to run, and runs 40 miles here and there, and attempted his first ultramarathon in June (and will most likely re-attempt it this June and oh by the way that one is 56 miles help me Rhonda). ANYWAY.

We are crazy, weird people. We are the people standing at the edge of the water saying “Come on in the water’s fine!” and let’s be frank, the water is the swelling ocean and it’s crazy and dangerous and cold and huge and amazing. You don’t want to miss out on that, scary as it is, and if you need someone to encourage you into it Johnny’s the guy who’s gonna get you in there and you’re gonna love it. And me? I’m already bellyflopped in with water up my nose because that’s just me.

Well, here we go then. Nice to meet you.



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