Running helps. Running helps me help others. A couple weeks ago, I decided to start a running group at my church. When I started running a few years ago, it was just fun for me because I wanted to get out and exercise. I had tried gym-ing with my friends and even though we had free gym-membership in college (thanks, City College), I found that I preferred to be outside, running laps at Riverbank State Park, running steps in St Nicholas Park, or just running on the sidewalks in Harlem. I’ve had my periods where I didn’t run but whenever I have a problem, something that I need to work out, a decision that I need to make, running helps.
And since we’ve been dating for so many years, recently, I’ve decided to make a bigger commitment to running. I invested money into getting some of the gear that makes running comfortable, and I started doing longer distances, doing race events and even deciding to go the marathon distance.
Even though I’m not a gambler, I entered the lottery to win entry for the NYC marathon but if I don’t get in, I will be running for a charity. When I visited the NYCHalf2014 expo last Friday, I spoke to a couple of the representatives of Fred’s Team and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, both charities that trade a race entry for raising a set amount of money for the charity. Fred’s Team supports cancer research and I like that you can choose which area of cancer research you want to support with your donations. Running helps me, but it can also help me to help others.
In recent years, Cancer has become the bane of my family. Two days ago, I lost another uncle to the dreadful disease. This makes 3 uncles in 3 years, dead from cancer. I am getting numb from the heartache of hearing about the diagnoses, being helpless, not knowing what to do, being afraid that this is a family disease, being afraid that…. generally, just being afraid of the unknown. And then, news this morning of yet a 4th uncle, a 4th diagnosis. I want to run. I want to run away. I want to run away, far, far away from cancer, but if I can’t do that, then I want to at least run and make some money for research.
So I’m signing up to run a half-marathon in September with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the NYC marathon in November with Fred’s Team. It’s a big commitment but that’s ok because Cancer is a big deal. Running helps others deal with what they’re going through.
I’m planning a lot of running this year. And I’m going to need all the support and motivation that I can get. And that’s one of the reasons I started a running group. I’ve never led a group of runners before but I want to share the joy of running with anyone who’s interested.
We started on Sunday, with just 3 of us – me, Kim and her 9 year old son.
We ran about 1.6 miles together, in 30 degree weather at 8 am, we paused at Central Park North to watch the half-marathoners and made plans to run an event soon.
As the temperatures increase, we have others who plan to join the running group. It was a short run for me, but so rewarding because it was run with others.
I’ve spoken to many runners who run for charities, like Jackie and Emma who I met on Friday at the NYCHalf2014 expo, remember them? They came from Orlando to run for their fav charity. This is a pic of those fabulous ladies, after their race. They traveled to do a grueling run because they knew doing so would help them help others. Running helps! And I’m so proud of you, ladies.
And an ever-increasing number of people are going out and running to raise awareness and raise money for causes. After the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year, runners all over the country and all over the world united to run to honor those who lost their lives or got injured at the event and to raise money to help those affected. Running helps.
But maybe that’s not you. Maybe you are not interested in running events and you just want to run around your neighborhood. You can make a difference by inviting others to come run with you. Sometimes, you can make all the difference in the world just for one person.
Running is fun for me but it can also be so much more. And if I can run and help someone while I’m at it, that just makes my hobby meaningful.
Running helps but if you’re not running, find a way to help someone with whatever you do. Go have fun and #RunWright while you’re at it.