CONSIDER A SPECIAL 2020 SUMMER CHALLENGE
Spend 9 minutes of your warm-up or outdoor exercise session to reflect on the fact that because of race, lives can be unjustly threatened and sadly, lost. That people can be afraid to exercise outside their homes or neighborhoods and may not fully be able to enjoy what we runners say is the most accessible sport. And that there may be ways in which your action, voice, or attitude can effect a change. Do it just once this summer or periodically as you head out to exercise.
Professional distance runner Marielle Hall provides material for us to ponder in those 9 minutes in a June 2, 2020 runnersworld.com article, “Racing to Stay Alive.”
As a black athlete, Hall shares her experiences and describes her reactions to learning of the dehumanization and violence suffered by “black and brown bodies”, especially when viewing the video of the attack on Aumaud Aubry. Aubry was out running when he was assaulted. She lays out the challenge of fighting such injustices in sport terms that we should be able to understand:
“Fighting racial injustice in America is an endurance sport. It is going to take time, and sustained focus, to galvanize our communities. Being tired is not enough. The race can be won, but it requires dutiful action from all of us.”
Marielle Hall in runnersworld.com article, “Racing to Stay Alive.”
Perhaps we don’t see ourselves as being part of the problem, can’t imagine ourselves acting like other horrible people do in videos that capture instances of injustice.
But if we dedicate part of one or more runs to focus on the issues faced by blacks and others* during an activity as peaceful as running, walking, or bicycling we might prevent our personal omission or commission of a future act which, although miniscule in scope and seemingly innocent in intention, upholds a hurtful system.
Earned Runs, striving to motivate and support personal athletic endeavors for all, hopes to help with winning the endurance race Marielle Hall has challenged runners to set as a goal. We’re promoting this special 2020 Summer Challenge, which involves committing to at least one 9-minute period of contemplation during outdoor exercise. Submit a request and receive special stickers with your set of competition bibs.
RUN & MOVE TO PROTECT BLACK LIVES
*It’s not an easy task to write about race, partly because it’s not always clear whether terminology will be unintentionally offensive, dismissive, or not inclusive of all who suffer racial injustices. If the use of “black” is objectionable, please comment on this post to explain and inform. I tried to use language in Marielle Hall’s article as a guide.
Patricia K Senagore
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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