Sunday, March 13, 2011

Week nine: Running for a cause

I started writing this post about how today's run was a study in contrasts -- the sunshine was glorious; the run itself painful (even though it was only 19k -- but some days, you just can't tell why, the run just doesn't go well). But how can I ignore the horrific tragedies that have been happening in the world lately? The world today is a crazy, complicated place. And a lot of times, running is a great escape from it all. It's just you, the pavement and your breath...For just a few minutes, or a few hours, the rest of the world's problems disappear. I am lucky enough to be able to have a life where I can enjoy this luxury, when in so many parts of the world people are simply trying to survive.

This week, I was struck by the tragedies in Sendai, Japan, following the tsunami. My first reaction upon reading the news was to email my brother -- he and his wife spent three years teaching in Sendai, and they have several friends who live there still. In the last few days, news of some of his friends has trickled through, and those he has heard from are ok. But there remain a handful who he still has not heard from. He and his wife have been waiting with bated breath to hear from the others. And in the backs of their minds, I'm sure they're also thinking that it could just as easily have happened to them. I can't even imagine that the streets where I walked on with my brother six years ago, marveling at the Japanese cyclists holding an umbrella in one hand and a cell phone in the other, ocean water flooded the streets -- a wall of water 30 metres high taking everything in its path.

Yesterday in the Ashtanga Karma class the instructor announced that the donations from the class would go to the Red Cross for relief of the tsunami victims in Japan. Which got me thinking -- there's gotta be a way that I can do something with all of this running I'm doing.

So, I've decided to devote my training and marathon run to the tsunami relief fund in Japan. As far as the mechanics of accepting donations, I have no idea how that would work yet. But this is a shout-out to folks who might want to give donations for this cause. More information on how that works (maybe through a PayPal account) will be provided int he days and weeks to come.



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