Thursday, July 5, 2012

PDX Marathon Week 5: What We Run For

I asked on Facebook this great question, "Why do you run?" Some of you gave me moving answers like, because God has compelled me to do so. Others gave me answers about some sort of animal chasing after you. I loved each answer so I made a collage of my answers plus your answers. I run for myself, to know that I am strong, to feel healthy, to live longer, to live an active life, to set an example, to grow.

I run for my community. Running is about community for me, hence why you are sitting there reading about my running escapades, because we are in community together. Our communities ebb and flow as people come and go, friendships deepen and shift, while others simmer out or move away. I love the community of friends I have right now and I expect them to come cheer me on when I run on October 7th, but the people who have no excuse for not coming to cheer me on, well, my family. They are my forever existing community, they push me to be who I best can be. My siblings and I are exceptionally close to the point where I forget that not all families are like ours. We are each other's biggest fans and biggest rivals. There are four of us, in order we are Kathy, Billy, Melissa and Rebecca. This past week I got to be my sister Melissa's biggest fan {well, maybe 3rd biggest behind her husband and my mom, but whatever...its different} as she brought her 3rd, count them 1, 2, 3, child into the world. Here is a great photo of them all in the hospital.

Let me just say that I have 3 amazing nephews and 3 amazing nieces, but today will host a story about my niece Addie who is 4 years-old. Since my last visit to this household, she has began to participate in the local youth running club. You see, my sister and I have inadvertently worked to brainwash her, in a healthy way, that running is fun. I imagine her little brain patterns went like this:

Mommy and Auntie Becca are friends. Mommy and Auntie Becca are sisters. Mommy and Auntie Becca love each other a lot so they like to spend time together. Mommy and Auntie Becca always run races with each other. Running a race is fun but hard so Mommy and Auntie Becca must be strong. Women are strong and they can run really fast. I am a woman and I can run really fast, which is fun, and I can do that with my sister Lucy someday, who can also be my friend, who I love dearly!

I don't know if this is how she actually processed through everything but it seems like some awesome logic to me. I think that girls need role models to look up to and who better to find those in than your own family. I believe that investing our next generations is the best thing any of us can do. I am who I am today because women who I looked up to pushed themselves and balanced their lives in a chaotic world.
This is Addie. I love this picture of her because I think she
looks beautiful, brave, wild and feminine all in one shot. 
Photo credit goes to my dad on this one! 
His photos are awesome. Check out his Flikr account.

So on Monday morning, Addie and I put on our matching running outfits {grey dri-fit tops with neon yellow shorts} and went for a run. I met her at the tack by their house, after running my first 3 miles of week 5 and she made me keep going. Addie ran 800 meters without stopping! I was very impressed with her four year-old body. {Not to mention that her 2 year-old sister ran 400 meters without stopping as well.} We have some runners on our hands. 

This brings me back my question: What do you run for? There are a lot of correct answers to this question, some more valiant than others. But I learned in week 5 that I run for the next generation.

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