Peace on the Street – Stopping Harassment

If I were to tell you that there is a population group where 99% of the people in America have suffered harassment in some form, what comes to mind? A smaller minority group? A certain religious organization? A particular sexual orientation? All fair guesses!

But the answer? Women. That’s right. Women in all countries suffer from street harassment – a form of sexual harassment. I just happen to cite a study from the US, but I’m sure the results will play across other countries similarly.

Street harassment is a very under-researched topic, but according to a 2008 study by Stop Street Harassment of 811 women, 99% said they had experienced street harassment in some form upon taking the survey. The breakdown: 25% experienced it by age 12, 90% by age 19, and 99% by the time these women took the survey (only 3 said they never experienced it).

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What is street harassment?

Street harassment is any unwanted and unsolicited sexual conversation, gesture, or advancement motivated by gender that invades a person’s emotional or physical space. It includes whistling, leering, honking, vulgar gestures, sexually explicit comments, blocking a person’s path, kissing noises, following, target of public masturbation or flashing, touching, and assault. It is a form of social injustice, as it limits women the same freedoms to enjoy public places with the same peace of mind as their male counterparts.

Now, I realize that men also experience street harassment. I’m not trying to minimize this at all. Women can be guilty of this too. But the frequency of occurrence is stacked more strongly against the men as the aggressors. As a woman, and since this is my blog, I’m going to focus on the women’s perspective and go off of personal experience. (Sorry guys. Feel free to write a blog on the other side of things!)

I also want to state that I don’t put myself under the labels of feminism, and I don’t support misandry. I realize most men don’t condone harassment of women and many step up to defend us from it. I am married and have many great guy friends in my life. Most are just as frustrated with this as I am. When I am speaking to the men in this article, it is to those who either participate in harassment or justify those who do. So, don’t feel that I’m picking on you, guys. You have been my shining knights on several occasions.

What’s the big deal?

Street harassment is probably the most under-reported crime. It is socially accepted in many places. If a woman stands up for herself, she is deemed by others to be too sensitive, not able to take a joke, etc. Women feel societal pressure to keep quiet about something that is clearly uncomfortable to them.

I have experienced sexual harassment all my life in both the street and workplace. It knows no demographic or social class. As a sales rep, I had an instance with a doctor sexually harassing me. I left immediately and reported it to my supervisor, but nothing was done except that I was told I didn’t have to call on him again. As a runner, I have experienced multiple forms of street harassment.

And that’s the problem. We grow up with it. We are taught that, while it isn’t the type of behavior for guys to brag about to mom, it also isn’t a big deal. I will admit, most of my life I have shrugged it off, tried not to listen, and ignored it along with the rest of the world.

However, I had more forceful assaults as I grew older. Experiences that have gone past simple words and led to actions. There is something very haunting about staring into the eyes of someone you know wants to rape you. I have had it happen twice. Once, a guy saw me from the road while I was outside my house from his car, leered at me, drove up my driveway while I retreated into the house, and followed me to my front door. If my 100-pound German Shepherd, who is usually very friendly, had not gotten between us and scared him off, I’m not sure what the outcome would have been as I was home alone in the country. The other time, a man jumped in my car, tried to kiss me, and tried to get me to drive him down a lonely road while he sexually propositioned me. When I refused to drive where he wanted to go and told him to get out of my car, he resisted until I told him we were driving to my husband and he would make sure he got out. We were in a public place with many people walking by, so when he realized I wasn’t going to be an idiot and drive to a secluded location, and that the only driving I would be doing was straight to my husband, he retreated from my car and kept asking for my phone number as I drove away. I have had a man hang on to my car window as I’m driving trying to get me to stop, had men join me as I’m jogging or swimming to try to talk to me (thankfully they were in horrible shape and I soon left them behind), had men grope me in crowded areas where I couldn’t get away, had men drive beside me hanging out their car window, and had all manner of sexual comments come my way when I was walking, running, or biking.

Before the more scary incidents happened, I treated sexual harassment as a mere annoyance. Now that I’ve seen how fragile the line is between men saying things to me and men trying to do things to me, I am even more uncomfortable with unwanted advances. I can’t imagine how women feel who have actually experienced rape and other traumatic assaults.

To sum it up, the big deal is that when women are sexually harassed, they are made to feel like they are a peace of meat parading around for that man’s pleasure. They often feel threatened, demoralized, and objectified. To make it even worse, some men laugh it off as if it’s no big deal, and make anyone who stands up against it feel like they are wrong to feel the way they do. Instead of targeting the real issue – the guys who do this – women are made to feel guilty for expressing any outrage that they are being hollered at like a pole dancer at a strip club. What are we supposed to say, “Thank you?”

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Common Excuses I Hear

I’m just giving her a compliment.

Nope, sorry. While some of the things I have heard, in other social situations among friends may be deemed a compliment, a stranger yelling them at me from across the street would not qualify. Other comments I have heard would make a sailor blush. It just makes women uncomfortable when strangers tell them things they should only hear from their lover in the privacy of their home. Now, I realize there are some women who may enjoy the occasional whistle, but for those of us who have seen the uglier side of things going to far, even that causes our stomach to turn. Since you don’t know what a woman’s experiences have been, if you want to make introductions, see if she is receptive to a normal “Good Morning” first before pushing your luck. You guys are smart. You can tell if a women is flirting. When you lead with “Hey Baby,” when you haven’t gotten any signal that she’s remotely interested, most of the time she will be creeped out. And, if she’s in the middle of her workout, she is probably not in the mindset to interact with you anyway. She is used to men yelling at her and the second you open your mouth, she is already on the defensive. Most men who do this know that women don’t like it. Most women, at the very least, give looks of disgust. That very fact should be a clue to even the most socially inept guy to stop the behavior.

It’s cultural.

I have traveled a lot. This excuse is used in other countries, as well as in the US to describe certain demographics or regions. While bad behavior may be more tolerated, and therefore more prevalent in certain areas or countries, it most certainly isn’t cultural if you believe your culture should interact in civilized society. When I go a bit deeper into the issue and start talking to the local women, I find they don’t like it any more than women anywhere else do. They have just been told to be quiet and let certain men sexually objectify them. They have no where to turn for help, and so they just learn to survive and adapt to bad behavior. Some even follow men’s lead and minimize it due to societal pressure.

She dresses like she’s asking for it. She’s out late, so she must like it.

The way a women dresses or the time of day she decides to go out is her business. She is never asking for it. I realize men are visual, but have some self control. You can’t blame anyone else’s clothing choices or the time of day they are outside for your bad behavior. You make the choice to engage someone, so take responsibility for your own actions vs. blaming the victim of your harassment. I have seen a man walking fully exposed down the side of the road. I had no desire to do anything else but turn away. I realize I’m not a guy, but you certainly won’t have me believe you are so controlled by animalistic instincts where you can’t just keep quiet.

We were just having fun! It’s no big deal! Lighten up!

I’m all for having fun. But the last time I checked, doing so at someone else’s expense was a form of social injustice. There are many instances where people had a great time harassing others: slavery, bullying, hate crimes, etc. Some of these examples, while much more severe, were socially accepted in the past. They may have been deemed normal by the majority of people of that time period, but they were still wrong. Sure, harassment is really fun for the people perpetuating the crime. Having fun isn’t proper justification for suppressing other’s rights to be in a public place in peace. And remember, many women have had traumatic experiences. Once you cross the line of harassment, they don’t know where you will stop. To constantly be on guard or worried for your safety is exhausting and limits a woman’s freedom to go places without fear.

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So what can we do about it?

Educate!

If you are sexually harassed, and can do so without putting yourself in danger, let your feelings be known. Tell them it is not something that is o.k. The more women who speak up, the less tolerated this will become. The more men who stop their peers from thinking that it is normal, the faster it gets resolved.

Speak first and be strong.

This is not a foolproof method, but I found I got much worse harassment when I completely ignored the men. In my personal experience and from talking with other women, this targets the main reason guys do it – to be noticed or interact. If I am already getting the full-body stare and I know the guy is about to say something, I try to initiate contact first with a greeting. When this happens, I notice them before any harassment is needed to get my attention, and the guy is more likely to fall into a more polite social exchange. This doesn’t always eliminate the harassment, but it does make it more tolerable. I am usually just given a more forward compliment or asked for my number, but the more disturbing comments stay locked behind his cranium and away from my ears. When I ignore him, the comments are usually much worse.

Walk or run in groups.

This is where I have messed up in the past. When I get slower or out of shape, I tend to run alone as I don’t like to hold others up and feel embarrassed about my slower pacing. However, running alone means I am more of a target for sexual harassment. I’ve learned I need to put aside my pride and find people in my target pacing group. When I am with other women, the comments are much less frequent, and when there is a guy in the group, they are all but eliminated. Plus, I get to make new friends! There is always strength in numbers!

If possible, change your route.

While this doesn’t always work, it can help in certain places. When in the US, I love to run in retirement golf communities, public parks, or on nature trails. If I run through downtown with more foot traffic, my chance of harassment goes up. However, be careful. Deserted roads, while they may offer less sexual harassment, have their own dangers. If you come across the wrong guy and help is far away, sexual harassment will be the least of your worries.

Be mindful of what you wear.

While what you wear is NEVER a justification for men’s poor behavior, you have to understand that they may not know that. You will get more unwanted attention with more revealing clothing. While it’s not fair, it’s just a fact of life.

Change the time you go out.

I have found that running very early in the morning has greatly reduced the amount of call outs I get. The less people that are out, the less chance you have to come across the type of guy to do this.

Some other suggestions I have gotten, but haven’t felt the need to implement, are to cut my hair short and dye it a different color. The above tips have greatly reduced the street harassment I get, so I haven’t decided to go more drastic and change my appearance. It is sad we have to deal with this at all, but I would rather make a few changes to minimize unpleasant interactions than be subjected to them constantly.

The Take Away

The main point I want you to take away from this article is that when you minimize the issue of street and sexual harassment, you further empower the people engaging in this form of social injustice and you devalue the victims of it. I realize part of the reason it is still so accepted is that the entertainment industry is guilty of making light of it and perpetuating the myth that all women like it. This issue won’t change unless enough people step up and speak up. Here is a great site with a list of companies that trivialize street harassment. Feel free to contact them if you agree it is wrong of them to do so.

http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/listofcompanies/

And men, if you are about to say something to a strange woman, run it through this filter for me, please. If you have a daughter, girlfriend, or wife, would you want some stranger to say it to them? If you’re not at that life stage yet, would you still be able to say it if the woman’s father or boyfriend were there without upsetting them? If the answer is “No, or I’m not sure,” then don’t say it. And, if a woman is trying to work out, don’t yell at her. Let her run in peace. Running is that time of my day that I want to relax. I promise you, anything you yell at me is an intrusion.

Now, I want to hear from you! Please, ladies or men who have helped women through this, feel free to give me your ideas on what you have found to stop street harassment. I’m always learning new ways to handle this! I would love to hear your ideas, but I would ask that you refrain from generalizing certain demographics, countries, people groups, or regions. Keep the locations of where this occurred to yourself, as I don’t want to perpetuate stereotypes. Any comments containing references like this will be edited or not approved at all.

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This is a problem everywhere, but solutions can also be found when everyone comes together to stand against this most accepted form of social injustice. Everyone deserves the right to be able to go anywhere they want without fear of devaluing comments or actions. Let’s all do our part to make this dream a reality.

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From Fat and Sick to Fit and Quick – How Diet and Exercise Changed My Life

I sat in the cold florescent-lit room covered only in a thin paper gown. My arm ached from the blood draw while bruises confessed previous invasions. I had gone through more doctors than I could remember, and I was still no closer to finding out what was wrong.

It started with a fever after I came home from a business trip. Airports are notorious for spreading the flu, so I dismissed it. I took a few days off from work, but I never got better.

I started back to work still achy and sick with a fever of around 100 degrees. It never broke – for over a year it ranged from 99 to 101. Doctors call it “fever of unknown origin,” and they don’t want to deal with it. I had aches and pains constantly. I gained weight. I lost my hair in the shower. I had night sweats, angina pain, muscle spasms, and insomnia. My hormone levels were very low on all my tests. I was always tired. I tried to exercise, but it exhausted me to the point that I had to choose between running or work. Either one would cause me to be unable to move for the rest of the day. I had chronic UTIs. I was on antibiotics for months at a time. Even though I lived in Florida and was out in the sun often, my vitamin D levels were very low (6 ng/ml) requiring supplementation. Doctors told me a range of things they suspected: endometriosis, mono, chronic fatigue, early menopause, fibromyalgia, and hormone issues. I became depressed, as no one in the medical community seemed to have answers. I was working hard to build up a sales territory, and this was the last thing I needed to deal with.

One doctor told me that even though my ANA test was still negative, she suspected that I was developing an autoimmune disorder. At this point, I knew I had to made some drastic changes.

I was already a vegetarian. But, my current illness was proof that just cutting out meat doesn’t make you healthier. I was still eating a lot of processed foods and cheese, and not many fresh greens. My sales job demanded I drive to visit clients across a territory of almost all of Florida and parts of Alabama and Georgia. When I got home late at night or spent nights in hotels, it cut into my motivation to eat healthy food. I often went for the easy drive through meals or boxes and packages I could heat up in minutes. I was also under incredible stress at work, as my illness was impacting my performance. It’s hard to be in sales and be cheerful every day to customers when you feel like the walking dead.

First, I was fortunate to transfer to another division within my company that drastically reduced my territory size. I switched from calling on veterinarians to physicians. With less driving required and a new manager, my health improved and stress levels went down to the point that I could start exercising a bit. This gave me some hope. If I could exercise, I could pull out of this onslaught of disease and depression.

I set my sights on a marathon six months away. I paid the entry fee so I couldn’t talk myself out if it. I had never even done a half marathon in my college running days, but if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. I needed change. In addition to the multiple health issues, my weight was the highest it had been in years. I needed to drop a good 50 pounds to be race ready. I knew exercise could only carry me so far. So, I went back to eating real vegan food and threw away the packaged junk.

With diet and exercise as weapons to take back my athletic college body I knew was still in there somewhere, I began a new way of life. I focused on eating more salads and fresh fruits vs stuff from a box or bag. I also began my marathon training plan. I was too embarrassed to run with a running group due to how slow and fat I felt, so I trained around my neighborhood with only my iPod for company. Looking back, I wish I had joined the awesome group in Sarasota, Gulf Coast Speed, sooner. When I got faster and joined them, this group really took me to the next level and gave me many amazing friendships. Running is such a social sport and attracts the best people. You should never train alone if you can help it. But, due to my pride, I plodded away on my own, working up to eventually 24 long, boring miles before I started my taper. I also worked in a 5K, 10K, and two half-marathons as training races.

Running to the finish of a half-marathon in St. Petersburg, FL

Running to the finish of a half-marathon in St. Petersburg, FL.

I became a different person. The vegan diet, packed with fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables, combined with running turned my health around. I had energy again. The symptoms disappeared and the fever broke. I got off all medication. I dropped 50lbs in six months and a new person stepped out as the old shell of sickness and weight slipped off me. I have never looked back.

I ran my marathon – the Disney Marathon to be precise. It was the most painfully amazing experience of my life. My goal was to come in at 5 hours, and I smashed that goal by a considerable amount.

Giving Goofy a high five at the finish of the Disney Marathon

Giving Goofy a high five at the finish of the Disney Marathon.

Since then, I have competed in many other road races and multiple half marathons. I also began racing in triathlons. From my first race, I was addicted. Now, I am training for the full Ironman with a professionally-sponsored national team here in Grenada. I no longer believe in limits. My body, with proper training and nutrition, can do things I never believed possible.

Me stretching out after tri practice - wearing the uniform of the national triathlon team.

Stretching out after tri practice – wearing the uniform of the national triathlon team.

I also witnessed the healing power of food in my own life. I have stayed vegan. I even did seven months where I did nothing but raw vegan. This was the absolute best way for me to eat, and I had my fastest running times on this diet. However, now that I live in another country, I have to abandon this for financial reasons. I plan to do it again when I get back to America and do the final push before my Ironman race in 2014.

Raw young coconuts = Nature's Gatorade! The perfect post-run recovery food.

Raw young coconuts = Nature’s Gatorade!
The perfect post-run recovery food.

I also love juicing and have done multiple fresh juice fasts up to two weeks and seen amazing benefits to my health. I still believe in juicing at least once a day as a supplement to a healthy diet, with fasting sprinkled in as needed. There is no better way to pack in the nutrients and lose weight quickly in a healthy manner.

In six months, I went from an overweight person on the edge of developing an autoimmune disorder to running a marathon. I went from depression to hope. Now, when I see others struggling with health issues and weight problems, I can completely relate. I’ve been where you have been. All I can say is, don’t give up. Change is hard, but you never regret the work when you are on the other side. Your body can heal itself if you give it the right tools. It really is that simple. Diet and exercise did what no doctor or pill was able to do – help me find the athlete within. I will never go back again.

O.k. I'm being brave and showing before and after pics. On the left, me at 180 pounds and sick. On the right, me at 130 pounds running to the finish line to win my age division in a triathlon.

O.k. I’m being brave and showing before and after pics. On the left, me at 180 pounds and sick. On the right, me at 130 pounds running to the finish to win my age division in a triathlon.

Can you relate? Have you ever faced these challenges? I want to hear from you! I want to encourage you not to give up. If you have conquered your illness or weight issues, please tell me your tale of triumph. Motivational stories matter! I can’t get enough of them! Let’s encourage each other on the road to a better, faster, stronger version of ourselves! It’s a tough climb to the top of this mental mountain, but… wow… what an amazing view it is!

Running to Remember Boston – in Grenada, West Indies

The Boston marathon bombing shock waves were felt across the entire world. It wasn’t just an attack on a public event, but it targeted one of the purest forms of achievement – the finish line of a race. Running, like the Olympic Games, brings people together from all cultures, races, and religions. It is a uniting factor despite all other differences. We may not understand everything about one another, we may not even speak the same language, but we understand running. It is a powerful bond, and it unites us in sweat, tears, blood, and passion. You join a brotherhood of amazing people every time you lace up your shoes.

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Another world away, student runners in Grenada, West Indies felt the pain of the tragedy through the news. We saw images of cups thrown on the ground, a familiar site to those of us who race frequently, right next to blood-stained pavement. The bombings hit home for us, because we could see ourselves right there crossing the finish line. We knew the exhilaration of that moment, how amazing it felt to hear the crowds cheering us home after running 26.2 miles. To have that incredible memory tarnished by war, death, and violence was unthinkable.

So students organized a Run to Remember for Boston, just like thousands of running clubs did back in the United States. Over 180 runners from many cultures and countries came out to support Boston. We brought an American Flag, printed out “Runners United to Remember Boston” bibs, got a security escort to manage traffic, and followed the flag to beautiful Grand Anse Beach where we cheered everyone to the finish line. Even though we were far away from home, we were sending our love to Boston.

We also ran this race on April 19th, which was the 18th anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombings – another act of senseless terrorism. The timing seemed appropriate.

ImagePhoto Courtesy of Joshua Yetman

While I was running at a sub 8-minute pace early in the race behind the American flag, I hit a broken piece of sidewalk and fell – hard. It’s one of those falls where you don’t realize you’re even going down until you watching the pavement slide under you inches from your nose. Thankfully, I wasn’t seriously injured. However, several runners stopped and helped me up. I thanked them quickly and started running again, not wanting to even look at my injuries or let my adrenaline wear off. Nothing was going to stop me from finishing this race. I hardly felt my bleeding knees or bruised wrist, but I did feel the support from those people who stopped to help me up.ImagePhoto Courtesy of Kevin Zheng

That’s what this run was really all about. Runners helping those who have fallen rise up again and get back in their race. While we may not have been in Boston on that day to help, this was a day we were reaching across the ocean, ready to pull our heroes back up and get them racing with us again.ImagePhoto Courtesy of Kevin Zheng

From the students at St. George’s University, Grenada, West Indies to Boston, with love…

So You Think You Hate Running?

I have been running off and on for the past twenty years. During my “off” seasons of life I certainly haven’t looked like I should stand with the lanky athletes who fly over miles like stepping stones, but my heart has always identified with them. Over time, I have had so many people remark when I tell them of my love of running, “Well, that’s good for you, I suppose. But, I just hate running. I could never do that.”

Let me let you in on a secret – most runners hated running just as much as you think you do when we started.

When you first start running, it isn’t fun. Your body protests wildly at this sudden increase in exertion. Your heart pounds and you feel like you will never get enough oxygen to your lungs again. Your brand new running shorts ride up your legs like a sick version of a peep show as your thighs rub together and create the mother of all rashes. If you are carrying a few extra pounds, you feel your sides jiggle in the most unflattering of ways. Sweat trickles into your eyes and burns clear to your brain. You feel like your feet are stuck in cement blocks and realize you could probably walk faster than you are running at this moment. Your new shoes cause blisters which burn from the assault of the sweaty socks. Your head feels foggy as all blood rushes to your muscles to keep you upright. If you keep going, you feel the nausea come in peristaltic waves and you try to keep from losing your breakfast in front of any poor soul watching this spectacle. Your mouth becomes cotton and you try to spit to clear your airway, but do so into the wind, causing the projectile to swing back onto your salty black tank top like a slimy badge of idiocy. You are acutely aware of how completely ridiculous you look, and begin walking (it’s faster at this point anyway) as quickly as possible back to the safety of air conditioning and a DQ blizzard.

This is usually the experience most non-runners have, and then they decide they don’t like it. They quit, thinking they just aren’t a runner and will never enjoy it. News flash – no one likes that!

I have gone through the above scenario more times than I would care to admit (minus the DQ blizzard). Every time I get out of shape, this is the horror that awaits me. However, I go through it every time with a smile. Why? Because I know what waits on the other side, and each day I’m getting closer.

There is another side of running that only runners know, and it’s addictive enough to keep us pushing through the hard runs to reach it at all costs. It may take weeks or months, but eventually you start to have different experiences. You have runs when you are light and fast. You feel the miles melt in surrender under your legs as you run through the fog on a dewy morning. The water forms tiny drops of crystal on your eyelashes as you pass through the stillness. You feel more alive with each mile you conquer, and the endorphins dance through your body like liquid happiness. Your heart pumps in controlled beats of efficacy. You see natural beauty that few experience, as you go places the untrained will never reach. You embrace adventure with wings on your feet and, at that moment, all stress and heartache melt away to the simplicity of lightly falling footsteps. You feel wind dance through your hair and cause goosebumps on your skin, generated only from your speed as you break through your previous pace records. You feel each muscle springing into action, propelling you forward with power. You leave all sadness, all worry, all weight, all brokenness behind. You feel like you can run forever and are stronger than you have ever been. You have dominated your weaknesses within, and every movement is cascading together into pure adrenaline. At this moment, more than any other, you are alive.

This is why I love running. This is why anyone would love running. Most people who think they hate running have just never tasted this. Or, if they have, they have forgotten it. They continue to watch us from their cushy cars in our less flattering moments, struggling up a hill with looks of pain on our faces and ask, “Why would anyone do that?” But, watch those of us who have again learned to fly, and you will have your answer. “Because we know we can be something more…”

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Boston

When I don’t know what to do, I run.

I ran today because nothing else made sense. I wore my race shirt of blue and gold, found an American flag, and started my run. Yesterday, bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. People died. Limbs shattered. Hearts broke.

The Boston Marathon – only the most elite race in the US. Those who wish to earn the coveted title of “Boston Qualifier” must hold a little over an 8-minute mile consistently for 26.2 miles in a previous marathon. Other runners are able to get in with slower times by running to raise money for charities. Those who earn a place in this race either have a heart of gold running to help humanity, or have worked for years to get their pace times worthy – or both. The people who run this race are the best of us.

And that is why this tragedy has rocked me to my core. It wasn’t just an attack upon my country, it was an attack upon my runners.

We share a special bond. We know what it feels like to get out of bed while the world sleeps. We feel the highs and lows of logging in miles on lonely roads. We sweat in blazing heat, freeze in icy starlight, put our heads down to pierce through biting winds, and climb our mountains with our legs and in our minds. We have staggered through our final mile, and we have flown with the wind to a new PR. Elation and devastation go hand-in-hand, as we always try to race the best version of ourselves. When we pass another runner, we just nod, because we know. No words necessary.

We also don’t scare easy. If we did, we wouldn’t be runners. That’s why whoever did this needs to redefine their title. Terrorists only succeed when they cause terror. Runners won’t give in to fear, because that is how we live. We fight off the excuses each day we lace up our shoes. We don’t embrace comfort, but pain. We don’t like life soft, but hard. We don’t get scared when attacked; we get angry.

I made it my goal yesterday to race at the Boston Marathon next year as a qualifier. I always toyed with the idea, but this bombing just drove my resolve to a new level. I predict thousands of other runners will do this as well. We will race despite the evil in the world, because we have faced darkness many times before. The desperate acts of the weak minded will never intimidate the runner, because that is what it means to be a runner. This passion to run has brought us to our knees in humility, but also to our heights of achievement. And that is what the Boston Marathon is – our highest honor. And that is what terrorism messed with yesterday.

To those responsible for the bombs, be warned; there is an entire movement giving chase. We are fast, we are united, we are strong, and we are coming…

Better start running…

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