Today’s post is brought to you by Britt Taylor, a member of Team V with the Athleta group. Her story is a great one and we are proud to have her on our team. You can donate to Britt’s run here.
Runners support one another. Runners give each other high fives and “Go Get ems!” and “Great jobs!” no matter what your speed, level of fitness or place. If you are out there doing it, you are automatically winning. Even top competitors can look each other in the eye and give a genuine “Great race!” after sprinting to the finish line for first. The slowest trudgers and the fastest sprinters can both congratulate each other with a unique equal admiration.
During cold winter trainings, you may be out there alone with your thoughts, meditating with nature. The peace of it can’t be paralleled. On a weekend when the trail is full of fitness seekers, you can keep your peaceful solitary state of mind, and also share a smile and a good morning to all of your fellow runners as you pass.
You might be a part of a running team. High school cross country is one of the fondest memories of my youth. I ran as a member (still active) of the Swedish Rockets, my family’s team name when we enter any relay marathon or other group event. We used to plan our annual vacations around it. People are forming their own teams to run in relay events or even just regular events all over the place. You will recognize them by their matching t-shirts, tutus, deely-boppers and ridiculous socks. Runners don’t take themselves too seriously.
Then there is the group run. A gregarious bunch of runners who meet at an appointed time in droves or small packs for the sole purpose of sharing a run. The pack can divide itself naturally by pace, or stick together to encourage everyone along. Having a gang to keep you on track or get you through training is a great way to make accountability a social event. Running with one good friend or family member can strengthen a bond. Running outside really clears the mind and sharing your deepest dreams, inspirations or even troubles comes naturally about with the rhythmic step by step you share in the great world around you. It is a truly bonding experience, regardless of how many words are spoken. You have an inside moment together that only you can share.
If all of these benefits weren’t enough, you can even put your running, and the running of all of your fellow run companions, to great use. Sign up for a race. If you look closely, you’ll find that they are all for one cause or another. If you are worried about sign up fees, remember, the race is basically a charity. By participating, you are supporting a great cause.
My most recent race endeavor has me charting new territory. I am doing a charity run as a part of a fundraising team. The Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Raleigh will be my third, but it will be first time I have ever crossed over into making my run count a little bit more than a sign-up fee. I had often toyed with the idea before, but never seemed to be able to commit to the idea that I might have to ask people for money or get into all of that, so I shied away.
When my coworker asked me to join The V Foundation’s Team V for Cancer Research, it was the last straw. I couldn’t hold out. Cancer took my mother from me a few year ago, and has affected the lives of too many people I know who should be living their lives to the fullest at our still young age, instead of surviving rounds of chemo. If they aren’t able to run, I figure I could run. I already run, so why on earth wouldn’t I do this?
I signed up and after joining the Team V Facebook group saw how easily so many people made their goals in a very short time. They’d post to their Facebook feed, a few people would donate, and that was it. It only took them a couple of days, and no cold calling! So many have already surpassed their fundraising goals. How ridiculous of me for not doing this earlier. I am always going to run, and I have always been grateful that my run fee goes to a cause, and I have even donated to other runners in the past. So no more sideline fundraising for me, I’m going to really make my steps count.
Over the past few years, I’ve been blogging about running and nutrition and have inspired many to start making healthy changes. This is another great healthy change I hope inspires others. If I know anything about runners, it is that they support one another. High Fives. Shouts of “Good Job” “Go Team!” and “Great Race!” Let’s add “Awesome Fundraising!” and “Way to make it count!” to that repertoire. I don’t know why I thought fundraising was going to be so intimidating, but it isn’t. I was wrong about that and I have actually found that it is just another really fun thing I can do with running, so if you have been a fence sitter like me, go ahead and hop over, it really isn’t scary.
Proud to be a runner, proud to be a marathoner and proud to be Team V! See you out there!