BENEFITING: AMERICAN RUNNING ASSOCIATION
ORGANIZER: AMERICAN RUNNING ASSOCIATION
On the late morning of April 15, 2013, I stood at the edge of Comm Ave in Kenmore Square and cheered loudly for the runners passing by. My friends and I had crashed some older Bostonians’ tailgate and enjoyed some casual talking between bites of sausages and sips of beer. It was such a fun morning, but I felt guilty. It was the only day I had ever purposely missed class at Harvard (we’re the only school in the area that doesn’t get it off). But that wasn’t the only reason. I was feeling guilty and mad at myself for not running the Boston Marathon that year, having decided to wait until my senior year.
Well, as you can expect, that anger toward myself disappeared quickly. The rest of that day was a blur, and the next week was spent recovering from confusion and helping lead The Crimson’s coverage of the bombings and the following manhunt, where I spent 12 hours on lockdown in The Crimson’s office and lead the design of what may be one of our most famous issues. I knew coming to Harvard I wanted to run the Boston Marathon my senior year as a capstone to my time in the city. Now, after the bombings, the experience is even more meaningful, as I run not only for myself but also for the victims of that tragedy and all of those who are Boston Strong.
Harvard generously coordinates charity spots, and this year, I’ll be running for the American Medical Athletic Association, an organization that supports deterring youth obesity and promoting higher levels of fitness for youth. Over 30 percent of children ages six to 11 are overweight, 15 percent are obese, and three out of five children ages nine to 13 don't participate in sports or other coached physical activities outside of school.
These statistics are disheartening but change can come by increased encouragement of fitness through programs by the AMAA. Growing up, I faced childhood obesity. Sure, I played sports that kept me physically active but not in a sense that I would categorize me as having a healthy lifestyle. That comes with finding a passion in fitness, not just being repeatedly told about the consequences of Type II diabetes and being forced by the public school system to complete the yearly mile run test. You have to make fitness something fun, social, and empowering. That’s what I found by running. Fitness is how I keep myself energized each day (not just runnin’ on Dunkin’) and it’s how I combat stress and anxiety. It’s how I’ve made incredible friends here at Harvard, and it’s how I’ve gotten this incredible opportunity to participate in the Boston Marathon.
Donations made to my campaign will benefit the AMAA’s Youth Fitness Fund, which supports national Run A Mile Days, held annually in May. Funds will support distribution of free materials such as the 8-week walk/run training schedule and posters, as well as help with onsite activities during the week-long event. To learn more about the program, go to www.runamile.org. To learn more about the AMAA, please visit their website or ask me!
You can contribute to my cause by visiting my campaign site on Crowdrise. If you have any further questions about making payment or about the race, please do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about me and the AMAA. I'm looking forward to a great run April 21, and I hope you will be part of it!