Abuse survivor pauses 3,000-mile fundraising run for birth of first child

Abuse survivor pauses 3,000-mile fundraising run for birth of first child

Outdoors

Abuse survivor pauses 3,000-mile fundraising run for birth of first child

Christian Griffith, an ultra marathoner and childhood sexual abuse survivor, has embarked on a 3,000-mile cross-country run in hopes of raising $1 million to help other victims, doing so in partnership with Help for Children.

He has said he will not stop, but, understandably, he did take a pause.

“I’m HAVING A BABY!!!!!!” the 47-year-old announced Friday on his daily running log on Strava. “Had to hop off the road and head to the airport. #babyKai is coming!!!”

Griffith immediately flew from Pennsylvania to Jacksonville Beach, Florida, to welcome his first child into the world, babyKai, as he refers to her. By Friday night, he was holding his newborn in his arms and enjoying the first moments of fatherhood.

He told USA Today in an email Monday he has “a mountain of feelings about it” and that words like “complete love” and “unconditional love” and “life-changing” fall far short of describing it.

“All I can think about is how I can contribute to making babyKai’s life the most incredible it can be,” Griffith told USA Today.

“During many of my speaking engagements, I mention that as a victim of childhood sexual abuse, I am consumed with its ‘visuals,’ with those visuals becoming the first thing I think about in the morning, the last thing I think about at night, and experiencing ‘triggers’ throughout the day.

“The morning after babyKai was born, Lindsay, my girlfriend and babyKai’s mother, asked me, ‘What was the first thing you thought about this morning?’ And without understanding where she was going with it, I answered, ‘My baby.’ Then she said, ‘What was your last thought last night?’ Looking at her a little funny, I answered, ‘My baby.’ She started crying.

“BabyKai’s ability to heal has just begun.”

Also just beginning is his fundraising run called Run2Heal in which he plans to run 30 miles a day, five days a week for five months—a trek that spans from New York City to San Francisco. He started on March 19 and has run about 100 miles, including 22 miles last week through the Nor’easter.

His plan is to start up again on Friday at the exact spot in Pennsylvania “where I learned I was about to become a daddy.”

One might think it would be difficult getting back on the road. “But that’s simply not the case,” Griffith told USA Today. “I am now more driven than ever.

More on BNQT Outdoors: In tender moment, baby elephant saved from raging river by mom

“I am still running primarily for the prevention and treatment of child abuse through both raising grant money and getting out there and sharing my message of open communication, abuse treatment, and emotional healing, but now I can add, setting an example for my daughter, as just as important, hoping that someday, babyKai will pick up that ball, and run with it, doing even bigger, greater, and more important things than her daddy.”

Note: Photos of babyKai, and Christian Griffith and his girlfriend Lindsay used by permission.

 Follow David Strege and BNQT Outdoors on Facebook  and Twitter.

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