Occupation: Admissions Counselor at HBU
Hometown: Richmond, TX
Marathons completed: this will be her first
For Jenel Ed, her reasons for running are “less visible to the eye” because they’re beneath the surface of things. However, the positive outcomes can be seen clearly in her life. She says “there are things many of us must overcome; that chain us down day after day. Painful things from our past tend to weigh us down and bind us from being who we were really created to be”. Refusing to let the possible gloom of life bog her down, Jenel found that running and training gave her the “ability to conquer new goals and achieve the seemingly unconquerable”. Jenel began running back in high school, but she began seriously training a year ago with her neighbor Jeni Palo, for the Chevron Houston Marathon. The two had already run a half marathon together in 2011 and have been able to encourage one another in their pursuits.
As Jenel overcame challenges in her life she simultaneously conquered running obstacles as well. Every additional mile she ran made her feel stronger and more confident. She daily presses on towards the goal set before her as in Philippians 3:14 and holds on to those encouraging words as she runs. Running has been her companion as she journeyed through personal growth. Every mile marker Jenel reaches beyond what she has previously accomplished and each mile run faster than one before, “represents breaking free and defeating the old [her] and rediscovering who [she] really [is]”. She knows that “running hurts when we train to be the best we can be, and so also our hearts hurt when they experience healing and restoration”. All the hurt experienced is worth the resulting physical, spiritual, and emotional progress gained.
The Houston Marathon “brings visibility to the freedom and victory [Jenel’s] heart has come to know. [Her] only desire is for this visibility to be used as hope to bind up all the others who are brokenhearted out there.” When asked why she runs, she responds by telling others, “it is a physical representation of what is occurring in my heart”. Because of her miraculous growth as a runner and as a person, Jenel especially desires to share her new transformation with others. She will soon be attending graduate school at Houston Baptist University in order to become a counselor. As a counselor she hopes to establish a therapy ranch with outdoor running trails, horseback riding, and swimming. Through this endeavor she wishes to help others progress towards the same freedom she has found in running.