I’ll be the first to admit that I can be selfish with my running. The hours and miles spent pounding the pavement (or occasionally hitting the trails) are preciously (and sometimes painfully) carved from my schedule, and are much cherished for the mental, physical, and emotional well-being they bring. However, even when I run solo I am never running alone.
As a runner, I am part of the much larger running community. These friends, acquaintances, and even strangers show mid-run solidarity with head nods or grunts of encouragement while the rest of the world slumbers on, peacefully unaware of these daily trials and triumphs. They also inspire me by demonstrating the fortitude, perseverance, and grit necessary to tackle goals one step at a time. And of course, this community magnifies the glory of training and racing successes by listening with patience and excitement (which, by the way, is always genuine, right??) as I recount every last detail time and time again.
I am also fortunate to be supported by many, many others who cannot fathom why I gleefully choose to run the distances I do but believe in me and affirm my efforts nonetheless. They also listen to my continual recounting of running escapades, asking questions to show that they care enough to try to understand what is important to me and why. They provide distractions when running is not on the schedule, and a dose of reality to help me remember that other things in the world exist outside of running (though sometimes I am not convinced on that last part).
For these reasons, and many, many more, I am dedicating my first Boston Marathon to those who often face the world seemingly alone: survivors of sexual violence. The silence surrounding the issue of sexual assault often forces those who have experienced it into isolated and private struggles for healing. The Boston Marathon is an enormous opportunity to make my running more meaningful, and it is upon this grand stage that I intend to draw attention to the issue of sexual violence. Please join me in this endeavor by making a donation to my fundraising campaign in support of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center: https://www.crowdrise.com/training-in-teal/fundraiser/natalieziemba
I have never been alone in my running, and I want to show survivors that they are not alone in their healing. Please join me in breaking the silence and spreading support.
#traininginteal #runbold #notalone