RUNNING FOR OTHERS. A while back there was a BLOG post (7/26/2016 http://www.earned-runs.com/blog/on-your-left-stroller-running) about a mom runner setting a record for stroller running at the Chicago Half Marathon. It seems natural that a parent who wishes to spend time with the little ones(s) and at the same time enjoy a great workout would take to running with a child-loaded stroller. Competing purposely with a stroller in front definitely kicks that parenting activity up a notch!
An article from Competitor.com “Man Sets Half Marathon World Record Wearing a Business Suit”, demonstrates how a runner has turned to sport to help his child. It features a dad running in a full business suit (a vest was worn) to raise awareness of Fragile X Syndrome, a condition affecting his autistic son. There was a fund raising component too, but the details were not provided in the piece. He set out to break the world record in this category and DOES IT!!! He had a terrific finish time (1:18 and 10 seconds); incredibly, while wearing a tie and dress shirt.
It’s amazing how runners find creative, often absurd, and touching ways to be better parents, spouses, friends, citizens, patriots, etc., literally wearing their hearts on their ‘sleeves’ (running apparel and gear), in support of loved ones and causes.
In my mind, running is an activity in which we, as runners, feel we have significant control. However life circumstances can generate situations in which there is little control. It’s no wonder that runners and other athletes try to bring the worlds of sport and misfortune together, attempting to use personal physical energy and determination in sport to power changes that improve the lives of the suffering.
This article also shows how an INDIVIDUAL in ANY race can IN SPIRIT ‘donate” their competitive effort on behalf of another. It can be done publicly, like this dad, or privately such that only the recipient is aware of the offering. A ‘donated’ finisher medal is tangible proof of love and respect that can be given through an organization (Medals4Mettle on GENEROSITY page) or personally. (more discussion on this appeared in a BLOG post 5/18/2015).
The next time you train for a tough race, consider privately letting a needy loved one know in advance that you are dedicating your preparatory efforts and the competition to them. This action will surely 'up' the stakes and double the incentive to work hard and perform well. Some recipients may treasure training updates from you as they endure a tough situation or care regimen.
BLOG Post 5/18/15: Generosity
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. In 1978 I began participating in 10K 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 and longevity.
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