This post was written by Alison, our Marketing and Development Associate. On July 27, she will run The San Francisco Marathon with our team, Changemakers for Children. All summer, our dedicated team of runners has been training and raising money for children who can’t walk or run because of a limb disability. By race day on July 27, they plan to raise $5,000 to help children walk and run for the first time. 100% will fund the cost of prosthetic limbs, mobility aids, corrective surgery and more. You can learn more by visiting worldofchildren.org/ability.
On Saturday, I was sitting at my favorite brunch place where I watched my boyfriend savor his French toast, not a care in the world. I, on the other hand, picked at my omelette, taking my sweet time to finish it. I knew that once we finished eating my oh-so lazy Saturday would be interrupted.
That’s because I still had to go on a 22 mile run.
Even though I’ve been running for over a decade now, it’s still hard to get myself out the door. Sometimes I can barely overcome the urge to sleep in, watch TV or just sit around and do nothing instead. Don’t believe anyone who says that runners aren’t lazy; we are. We just hide it well.
“Maybe you could drop me off 20 miles from here so I have to run back,” I suggested.
“Whatever you want, sweetie,” my boyfriend said. “20 miles is probably good since you’ll get lost for at least 2.”
It was a valid point. Since starting my marathon training two months ago, I’ve taken a number of detours on my long runs that have led to accidental explorations of rough neighborhoods, mile-long hills and nearly getting trapped in a lightning storm.
By the time we finished eating, I had decided to run to Sausalito and back, a scenic route that hugs the ocean and takes you over the Golden Gate Bridge.
It was a perfect day for a run, sunny and breezy with no sign of San Francisco’s signature fog. I started out on the Embarcadero, en route for the bridge in the distance. I felt like I was flying all the way to Sausalito.
But then I turned around and saw the hill. Correction: HILLS. For miles. All the way back to San Francisco.
As I struggled up the first one, I tried to think about something else. I asked myself the question that my friends and family have asked me over and over again: Why do you run?
The answer is hardly ever the same. Sometimes I say that I want to stay healthy or get back into shape. Sometimes I run to meet new people, give myself a new challenge, or explore a new place. Other times I run to feel that endorphin rush that runners always talk about.
This time is different though. This time I’m not running for myself; I’m running for children who don’t have the ability to run. I’m running for children like Seyha, who spent six whole years not being able to walk before getting fitted with a prosthetic limb. I’m running for Alex and Orlando, who, despite being born without one of their legs, ran their first 5k race with prosthetic legs. I’m running for Lee Linda, who was constantly teased by other children because she couldn’t walk normally like them, and is now getting the highest grades in her class. I’m running to give these children the chance to lead independent lives and enjoy being active in the summertime. I’m not running for me; I’m running for them.
The next 10 miles breezed by (though I did get lost along the way…). Now, whenever I feel that urge to skip training, I remember children like Seyha and Lee Linda who can’t just get up and run, but, with a little help, can achieve their dreams.