This week, I participated in the Diva Run at North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Talk about loads of fun. There was one particular expression on a T-shirt that seemed to sum up how I felt about running the 5K ó we donít chase our dreams, we run them down.
Never in life did I ever think I would become a runner. Over the years, Iíve enjoyed exercises such as bicycling, swimming, walking, roller skating and basketball. I canít measure the countless hours I spent shooting basketball when I was younger, often until the sun went down and I could no longer see the goal any more.
But, months ago, with prodding from Family and friends, I began running. A group of us would meet at the Hope Mills walking trail and do the Couch to 5K (an app that takes one from the couch to running a 5K in nine weeks). Along the way, I found a love for running that just gets in your soul/sole.
I found that a little time running the track clears the mind; gives me inspiration for which direction to go next in life; gives me a break from stress and worry. When I donít run, I donít feel like my optimal self.
Am I a marathoner, half-marathoner? No, Iím a 5ker. Iím taking it three miles at a time. But, I have so much respect for those who have pushed their bodies harder, run a little farther. Next year, I intend to be one of those persons ó Iíll run the half-marathon.
Given my health issues, I have Family members who worry about the toll running will take on my body. I canít worry about that. I worry more about the day when I can no longer run.
So, today, I run in case one day Iím not able to do so.
In reality, not being able to run is a day that has already come for my husband. A cancer survivor, he has been left with an ailment that deprives him of being able to run. When Iím pushing myself the last mile of the way, Iím thinking about the conversations weíve had. Iím thinking about his continued desire to be able to run, and in a sense, Iím running for him, as well. Not simply because he canít do so, but because heís supportive and has always been the kind of spouse who cherishes helping to make my dreams come true.
A dear friend and me will complete ďBlack Girls RUN,Ē a 5K in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 8. The organization, according to its website, was launched in 2009 by two women who wanted to dispel the myth that black women do not run and to combat the obesity epidemic among women in the African-American community.
I canít speak for all black women, but I know Black Girls RUN has more than 70,000 Facebook fans and more than 16,000 Twitter followers, me included.
There is hope that distance running will transcend all communities, but there is also the hope that women of color will remove ourselves from being statistics in the obesity community to statistics in the running community.