On March 20, 2016, I will be running the NYC Half Marathon in support of the non-profit organization, FREE TO RUN. FREE TO RUN provides opportunities for women and girls in conflict affected areas of the world, such as Afghanistan, to become involved in running and fitness related activities.
I cannot remember a time in my life that I wasn't fully immersed in athletics. My parents had me in the water before I could walk, and I concluded my swimming career competing for Rider University (GO BRONCS!). I also grew up playing soccer and skiing. After college, in search of a practical way to stay active and relieve stress, I began to run longer distances. Each of my athletic endeavors helped me become the confident, independent, and motivated woman I am today. Swimming taught me dedication, discipline, and to always believe in myself. Playing soccer taught me to be a strong leader and team player, on and off the field. Skiing taught me to be adventurous, and to never take myself too seriously (I fell, a lot). Finally, running has brought a feeling of importance and accomplishment to my adult life. Completing long runs makes me feel physically and mentally strong and capable, even on days where it seems like nothing else can go right.
It is a result of all I've personally gained from my participation in athletics that I feel so strongly about running to support FREE TO RUN. On the most basic level, women and girls across the world should be free to participate in and benefit from sport and physical activity. Further, in these conflict affected areas where FREE TO RUN focuses its efforts, women have traditionally been subjected to harmful gender discrimination in all aspects of public life. FREE TO RUN aims to use sport/fitness activity to empower women and educate men in a way that will change gender stereotypes and ultimately change attitudes towards the role of females in society.
Your donation can help provide necessary supplies such as sneakers, clothing, and fitness equipment. It can also help fund fitness activities and refurbish fitness facilities. Thank you for taking your time to read my story and learn about FREE TO RUN. If you feel able to do so, please consider making a donation in support of this important organization. And hopefully I will see some of you out there in NYC on March 20 cheering on the FREE TO RUN team!