My blog on January 24th was titled “Why You Should Run (or Walk) The Year 2016.” I wrote about why you should consider signing up to join Run The Edge’s online group and gave you great concreate reasons. So why I am I writing about Run The Year 2016 again so soon? Because if you haven’t signed up yet, you are missing out, and I don’t want you to miss out on such an amazing, compassionate, and inspiring year.
On February 2, one of the members of the Run The Year 2016 Facebook group, Jennifer, posted about her morning run. She was out by herself. She heard some other runners approaching and heard one of them say, “See that fat girl in red? You don’t want to become like that. She’s probably ugly as hell too.” And as they passed her, “See, told you.”
I can’t believe the courage she had to share this with our group. She said it stopped her in her tracks and she went home.
Her post has received over 1,100 comments of support from the 2016 group. Not only that, someone who posted to support Jennifer suggested that to show her we have her back, we make February 3 #RunForJennifer day and wear red.
The 2016 page was pretty much all red on February 3. Hundreds, if not thousands, were posting selfies in their red and sharing how many miles they ran for support of Jennifer. Those of us who were not running on the 3rd still posted pictures, wearing our red. The outpouring of love and concern did not stop there.
One post that made me the proudest though was the post by the Run The Year 2016 team. Owners Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher, along with Emily Scraggs, Virginia Furze, and Alyssa Laden, wore their red 2015 shirts to show their support. Their post has 1,854 likes and 186 comments which included more red shirters.
This movement has even spread outside of the 2016 group. One group member shared Jennifer’s story with her family. Through a couple more shares, the cheerleading squad at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois wore red at their February 4 practice in support of Jennifer.
While it’s unfortunate that a few narrow-minded bullies are runners (I guess every community has its jerks), it’s heart-warming to know there are also genuinely caring people out there. This group is not filled with just marathon and ultra runners. It is not just filled with people for whom running is easy. It is filled with walkers, 18-minute-mile runners and 5-minute-mile runners (and of course, many in between). It is filled with people who are big and small, short and tall, different ethnicities and from different countries. It is filled with inspiring people, some of whom are overcoming physical difficulties to just continue putting one foot in front of the other. What we all have in common is the goal to improve our health and to go farther today than we did yesterday.
Although we occasionally forget that the competition is with ourselves, and not each other, we have each other to remind us of why we are doing this and that we are not alone.
So again, I think you need to sign up for this group. You get an awesome cheering squad. You get motivational posts. You get inspiring posts. You get a daily chance to win something new.
You don’t have to do all 2,016 miles on your own. You can team up with three friends. Don’t have three friends who are interested? Post to the group asking for a partner and you’re likely to find some new virtual walking/running buddies.
Part of what moved me about the Run The Year 2016 team posting their “red” picture, was that they took the time to add their support. Since the start of the year, they have been busy answering tons of emails, smoothing out hiccups in their online expo, and this past week, mailing out t-shirt orders.
Given all that they’ve been doing, I was surprised and started crying when I received their t-shirt in the mail. Written on the shipping bag were messages from the team. Messages that really meant a lot to me. Messages that I will be adding to my inspiration board. The fact that in the midst of all their busyness, they would take the time to do that, to add such a personal touch, speaks volumes to the care and consideration this company has for its customers and participants.
If you really want to feel the love and be inspired to move like never before, join the Run The Year 2016 family. You won’t be sorry.