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We are the lucky ones

We are the lucky ones.

We are the ones who set a goal and work towards it.

We are the ones who make sacrifices to reach that goal.

But most importantly, we are the ones who can do it.

In the big picture, there are many people who can’t do it.

Maybe they can’t afford decent running shoes. And if they can’t afford shoes, they certainly can’t afford a race entry fee.

Maybe they can’t arrange for child care. Training is part of a lifestyle. And if you can’t find someone to watch your children while you’re out training 2 or 3 (or more) times a week, you aren’t likely to cross the finish line.

Maybe it is just logistics, remote communities, distressed living conditions, lack of available food…

We are the lucky ones.

We have strong bodies that carry us the distance.

We have the means.

And we probably have a solid support structure, who cheer our accomplishments, or share an ice cream when we stumble.

We are the lucky ones.

But lets talk about the lucky ones, who just don’t know how lucky they are.

In doing a *very* rough calculation of Toronto race entries in 2014 (according to SportStat.ca, which I acknowledge does not cover all Toronto races), there were approximately 81000 race participants.

In a city that has 2.79 million people (5.5 million if you are counting the entire GTA), that is a participation rate of 3%. And that is assuming each entry is a unique individual. In reality, I accounted for 4 of those entries.  So I would really guess that less than 1% of the population participate in an organized race.

No racer can deny the exciting feeling of crossing the finish line. Even if you have pushed yourself to the brink of being nauseous, the finish line is a glorious sight.

If you do one thing this year, share that feeling. Find someone who doesn’t know where to start.  Find a friend, a neighbour, a co-worker and invite them out for an introductory casual run. Run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute. Do whatever makes the run enjoyable and achievable.

We are the lucky ones because we know the feeling, the freedom and the fun of exercise. And we shouldn’t be keeping it to ourselves.

Can you remember your first practice run?  Was it alone?  With a friend? With a goal in mind?

Make someone else’s first run easier. Take them out.  Show them how lucky they are too.

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One comment

  • Nice job Patrick. I agree 100%. Sharing the running community and feeling of accomplishment with others is something we should all try to do. I am not too far removed from when I ran my first 5k and 10k and felt as though I finished an ultra marathon. We all share the feeling whether beginners or seasoned vets.

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