Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is Why

Total kilometres run this week: 28.5

Biggest challenge: The cold.  The horrible, horrible cold. ;0)
So, it’s been a week since I announced the Run Strong initiative.  I hope you’ll read to the end of this post because – to end on a high note – I really want to take a minute to acknowledge everyone who gave me some stop-in-my-tracks-because-people-are-amazing! moments this week.
But, I have to be honest, have you ever put something out there and then thought, “Sweet Georgia, what did I just do”?  Once I had emailed family and friends, and sent the Run Strong link out into the social network universe, I started to toss and turn at night contemplating how this was all going to go down.  42 km is a really long way to go on nothing but a pair of legs.  And, let’s face it, I get tired after a morning of housework.
I also started to fret a bit about how this platform would be used to REALLY engage people in the issue of violence against women.  It’s still very much a closed door issue...happening in places often unseen, involving realities commonly unspoken.  How would this forum contribute to that dialogue being opened up and shared?
After a whole lot of middle-of-the-night ceiling staring, I decided the simplest answer was that I was just going to have to go on faith…both that, with the right training, my rookie legs would hold out for the long haul and that the messaging would come.  And, of course, that’s when it happened. 
By complete chance (serendipity?), I came across this video.  Please watch it because this is why…this is why I want to run…these are some of the reasons why the staff and volunteers at Interim Place and other agencies addressing violence against women do the work.  This is why I’m asking you to donate.  It’s a 13 minute video, so you’ll need to get comfortable for a few minutes to watch it, but please pay particular attention to what he says at approximately 8 minutes and 55 seconds, “We had nowhere to go when I was a child…no one to turn to.  Not even the neighbours who knew about it – they heard it – and they kept silent”.  This is why Interim Place is so critical: it provides women and children with a place to go…a place to be safe, and a place to heal.
I do want to also say before you watch that I struggled a bit with having my first video post feature a man telling his story about violence against women.  I think it is so important that women use their own voices to tell their stories and share their experiences, but there is also no doubt that men have a pivotal role to play in addressing the issues and he very much (and so eloquently) tells his story from the perspective of a child, which is a critical message to hear.  For me personally, the most powerful moment comes at 9:45 when he says, “Violence is a choice and it’s a choice that a man makes.  And we can choose to stop it.”

As I said, I want to sign off by thanking some amazing people for simply bowling me over with their support this week:

My husband – for being the first person to respond when I sent out the email announcing Run Strong, and putting in print what I already knew: that he would do whatever he could to support the journey.
My mom and dad – just for being them.  And for jumping in with both feet every time one of their kids comes up with a crazy idea. :0)
My brother Scott and the team at CCI – for developing the Run Strong website (which I love!).  In addition, for being such hard-core supporters…Scott and Kevin are going to run with me!
My sister Marlo – for writing within minutes of receiving the email announcing the launch of Run Strong to tell me she would run with me.  Sisterhood is an amazing gift.
My brother Joe – for being the very first donor to Run Strong!
Sharon F. – for, in the middle of all of her other responsibilities at Interim Place, taking the time to be another set of eyes on my messaging about violence against women.

My truly amazing cousin Stephen - who wrote me a wonderful note of encouragement, offered his expertise leading up to the run and, all things working out, put the offer out to run with me.

My friends Jo-Anne L. and Mike H. - for so kindly asking "what can we do?". 
My mom, Jo-Anne L., Mike H., Marlo T., Kevin S., CCI Studios, and Mir Movement – for so enthusiastically sharing the initiative with their networks.
My fabulous cousin, Sue P., as well as my dear friends Jo-Anne L., and Daryl T. – for sending messages of support that absolutely made my day!
The 9 amazing people that became blog followers within the first week: Scott P., Joseph P., Heather L., Nicole J., Shenelle B., David B., Jo-Anne L., Mike H., and Chris M.  Thank you!!
The 11 amazing people that commented on my first blog – Jo-Anne L., Marlo T., Scott P., Sue P., Shenelle B., David B., Rachel R., Chris M., Jo-Ann F., Michelle M., and Rhonda K..  You have no idea how much it meant that you took a minute to share your thoughts.  It was especially a real thrill to hear from some amazing old friends and neighbours!  Thank you!!
To everyone who was a wonderful part of the launch of Run Strong: thanks for running with me!!!

1 comment:

  1. Psst...C-frawg. Don't forget to thank the big guy who gave you the two-legs on which you are going to get this thing done...and who probably gave you the gratuitous moment of "serendipity"...you will want him on your side for this ;)