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Why do you run? January 29, 2010

Posted by Renee in Blogging, Health Communications & Marketing, Prevention, Wellness.

Why do I run? I get asked this all the time.  There are lots of different reasons I run and I’m never really sure how to answer the question, but I started out running for me.  Not in a selfish way, but in a survival sort of way.  It is “me” time, it is my way of coping with life.  I am almost always in a better mood when I get back from a run.  When I run I am just alone in my head, whether I am with a group or running by myself.  Sometimes I clear my head and other times I think about anything and everything.  And I love to be outside, the fresh air is amazing and running makes it so I spend time outside all year round.  Also, I’m actually convinced the treadmill is a torture device.  I know that physical activity is good for me and all of my running has definitely made me healthier, but that was never my big motivator.  Now that’s just me.  There are a lot of people out there who run for a greater purpose, run for a cause.

Take for example, Sarah Stanley, a local DC runner, who released her 2010 project Run Ride Inspire on Friday January 22, 2010.  She has decided to run or ride (or a combination of the two) 50 miles in all 50 states during a five-month period to raise awareness for childhood obesity and the nonprofit Fitness Forward, based in San Francisco, CA.  According to Sarah’s website, Run Ride Inspire, her challenge will begin on March 8, 2010 in California and end sometime in August back in DC.

Keep reading to learn more about the staggering childhood obesity statistics that inspire Sarah’s Run Ride Inspire project:

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic status in the United States.  I know this, many of you know this, but not enough people know the size of the problem.  According to the CDC and Mayo Clinic childhood obesity can cause any number of health problems that were previously found only in adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  These are PREVENTABLE diseases.  The numbers are startling.  The CDC reports data from NHANES surveys (1976–1980 and 2003–2006) that show that the prevalence of obesity has increased for children of all ages: children aged 2–5 years, an increase from 5.0% to 12.4% was found; for those aged 6–11 years, the prevalence increased from 6.5% to 17.0%; and for 12–19 year-olds, prevalence increased from 5.0% to 17.6%.

Sarah has taken the issue of childhood obesity and made it her personal mission to raise awareness and fight the epidemic.  She hopes for a healthier generation and just wants kids to be more active.  An interview with Sarah discussing her project in more detail can be found here.  During her interview on “Let’s Talk Live” she states that she is not trying to get people to run marathons or set records, she just wants people to be more active and make it fun for children.  The organization she is partnering with, Fitness Forward, has both a mission and vision that no one can argue with:

Mission: Fitness Forward is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to lead youth to live well.  Integrating scientifically grounded evidence, innovative technologies, and targeted social marketing, we aim to reverse the dangerous rise in chronic disease, obesity and mental illness among youth.

Vision: We envision a day when all children, regardless of background or circumstance, will grow up with the knowledge, motivation, and tools to live healthier, happier lives.

How can anyone not believe in the mission and vision of Fitness Forward?  Don’t we all want happy and healthy children?

Within almost 24 hours of releasing her project, Sarah has found state ambassadors (volunteers) across the country to help her raise awareness in each of those states.  Sarah accomplished this through her personal Twitter account @SarahStanley and her new Twitter account @RunRideInspire.  She currently has over 6000 followers on Twitter and loves to interact with other runners and athletes.  Sarah is a friendly, inspiring woman hoping to make an impact on our country.  Through Twitter, what many consider micro-blogging, Sarah has created a following and the snowball effect of her message is unknown at this point.  She will be using Twitter, both of her accounts, to update her followers on her adventures during Run Ride Inspire.

Let’s all wish Sarah Stanley the best of luck with Run Ride Inspire! And as Sarah has repeatedly stated, “Turn a negative into a positive- you really can achieve anything! Never give up on your dreams because making them happen helps others too.”

For more information or to get involved, visit http://www.runrideinspire.com/



1. Gretchen Giannelli - January 29, 2010

It fits with the old adage…kill two birds with one stone. This is a great way to exercise, clear your head and meet friends as well as fund raise for a great cause.

2. Sara Imershein MD - February 1, 2010

Renee, a laudable effort – to keep fit and raise awareness. I’m still waiting for that great feeling people describe from exercise. I just feel tired after a workout. Where are those endorphins?

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