February 29, 2016
I began running in January 2013 as a New Year’s Resolution not knowing that it would completely change my life. Throughout recent years, I have struggled with disordered eating, depression and a negative body image. Not only has running become a positive outlet for me, but it has forced me to reflect on my current lifestyle and become a better person. I have learned to set realistic goals and work hard to achieve them. Running on the trails in the woods is therapeutic for my mind and soul. Running has made me more outgoing and social, and because of that I have developed many new friendships. The friends that I have gained have been such great influences and have taught me to be a more positive person. Training for races has challenged me and made me a stronger person on the inside as well as out. Every time I cross a finish line, I know it's because I worked hard to get there. Being dependent on myself brings about a positive image and self-worth. I also know that I am not going to go very far if I don't keep up with a healthy diet and lifestyle, and a positive mental attitude. I am so thankful for what running has done for me and it saddens me to know that there are women in this world who do not have the opportunity to participate in running, or other sports activities, like I do. Discrimination and traditional beliefs about female roles, makes physical activity not only frowned upon, but also dangerous in some areas of the world, such as Afghanistan and South Sudan. Free to Run is a non-profit organization that has made it their mission to use running, physical fitness and outdoor adventures as a means of empowering and educating females in conflict-affect communities. They impliment this by providing safe spaces where women and girls can participate in sports, organizing running events from marathons to ultra marathons, assisting with the formation of sustainable running and sporting clubs for girls and women in schools and communities, including training and supporting female coaches, and providing material support such as funds for running shoes and culturally-appropriate clothes. Free to Run has done amazing work, including organizing Afghanistan’s first mixed gender ultra marathon team which participated in a 250km multi-day race in the deserts of Sri Lanka!
October 9th, I will be running the Chicago Marathon in an attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am so passionate about running, and want to use my athletic accomplishments to help empower other women. Please support my cause. The money you help me raise would be used for the following:
$30 - a set of running clothes
$50 - a pair of running shoes
$100 - much needed equipment for Free to Run's gym stock room
$250 - ten boxing or yoga classes for abused women in a Kabul shelter
$500 - support ten hiking sessions for high school girls in the Central Highlands Region
$1000 - help rehabilitate the basketball court in a girls' high school
My goal is the raise $1,000 by Chicago in October. Lets do this together!