“I WILL NEVER STOP RUNNING…”
Was one of the lines I was recently asked to read for an upcoming inspirational video with the company FitCause; an amazing company using the innovation behind wearable technology and the power of #moveforgood in the community.
It’s a question I have never sat down and really asked myself. Would I ever consider stopping running?
RUN4ACAUSE had a very unique start, and a long incubation period, because it started merely as a hobby, an idea that turned into a 10 year passion project. It was never meant to be a non profit, or an organization, hell, I never anticipated I would have stand in front of a Tedx audience, on a treadmill in compression gear, using Superhero ideology as a means of inspiration. RUN4ACAUSE was born out of a time and need to find my way, my purpose. In it’s infancy, running was something I was never really good at. I never stood out in sports, frankly, I was always released from teams for having a border line skills. I was told I had a big heart, but I just didn’t have the height, or the speed. So I turned my attention to sports I could perform solo, and it became my daily practice. As I conquered running one block, I ran 2, then a mile, than 26.2 and so on, and started entering races; and as it turned out I found a voice. That voice began to tell my story, and it began to advocate for those who didn’t quite yet have a voice.
Over the years, and with the extra push of my TEDxKids@BC talk, RUN4ACAUSE came out of the shadows of quietly assisting the community and into the light with the sole vision and mission to empower people, no matter what their level of activity was and to use their beloved sport as a vehicle for change, to give back to the community. RUN4ACAUSE has never been about fundraising, yes I have had a monetary goal, but the foundation has been built upon connecting people to causes, or businesses to community projects. It has been about awareness and showcasing to the world – that no matter what you go through, you are never alone. Creativity and connection is my main currency.
So to go back to the line in our video I WIL NEVER STOP RUNNING; is a true fact.
Running isn’t something I do, It’s not mere exercise; it’s what keeps me sane, and it’s what keeps me moving forward in life. Running is a part of who I am, it’s a part of my soul. It is woven into the very fabric of my being, not because I merely enjoy it, but because I have incorporated it into every aspect of what I love in my life.
A marathon takes perseverance, persistence and will power. A marathon takes courage and the ability to deeply accept and understand our deepest fears and we must accept who we are at that very moment, from start to finish line. A marathon, as well as in life, we are asked to dig deep, to honor both our strength and our vulnerability and to be honest in the face of that very fear. We are asked to sit with fear, and speak to it, to understand its cause and effect, rather than bury and repress it within us.
The Marathon teaches us the biggest life’s lessons. Every race we enter, we are innately asked to reflect on our purpose, and why are “here” in that very moment. What have we worked so hard for? The marathon can be our greatest teacher, our ally and our mentor, and the countless hours of training can be a great tool to process, accept and honor that journey.
In that moment of excitement and physical anguish, we start to accept who we are, where we come from, and who we still have yet to become. It is a journey of many feats, of peaks and valley’s. It is a journey not for the faint of heart, but for those who wish to challenge their limits, and for those who understand that opportunity and growth lies in the very space we hold so dear, and the very place where we most likely fear. We know that amongst the self-sabotaging bullsh*t those vast 26.2 miles of endless terrain, will, without a doubt alter the very fabric of our being. It is a testament to the our character, our dedication and our self compassion where there have been many failures along the way, but every time we fall we have the courage to get back up. That, in it’s own right is a success because with every step it got us to here – to that very start line. And on that start line, I stand beside hundreds of other people, who have worked hard to get here. And for those who cannot run with me, I carry all those names and face with me every step of the way.
The marathon is the single most amazing feat I have achieved in my life and every time it feels like the first time I stood at that start line. As I approach the finish line, I know that this is not the end, but it is a new beginning, a new chapter. I can feel my heart beat, my body pushing forward with every mile, the salty-sweet taste of my own sweat, as if each droplet were a little bit of what I thought I feared leaving my body. It is overwhelming that feeling of accomplishment. It’s the accumulation of everything I have worked for; everything I have chosen to let go of; the pain of my past, the pain of loss, and everything I have chosen to let in; the joy of loving, the serenity that comes with being okay with who I am and why I am here, all of this together makes the necessary space for growth and transformation. Where we take all that is our current experiences and we turn it into a tool to build up our future.
That’s why I will never stop running. And at that finish line, you too will realize that the marathon is merely the birthplace for greatness and what you chose to do with that greatness is up to you. There is no greater teacher of life – than the marathon.
Keep an eye out for my new website coming soon! As a newly appointed FitCause Ambassador, there are many great things in store for RUN4ACAUSE and fo YOU!
FitCause is a marketing tool that empowers consumers as participants in the corporate giving ecosystem. Our platform acts as a conduit between corporations and charitable organizations by developing campaigns that quantify fitness data in fitness apps, and linking these accomplishments to corporate donations.
Using fitness applications and activity trackers, participants contribute their activity (miles, steps, exercises, etc.) to campaigns and unlock corporate donations as they achieve milestones. These milestones are celebrated, prompting participants to share via social channels as they selflessly become brand ambassadors by engaging in already planned activities.