Thursday, April 18, 2013

Karma Running

One of the many branches of yoga is Karma Yoga.  Essentially, it is the yoga of selfless service to others.  Volunteering, donating, helping someone else with no reward for yourself - all of these are examples of karma yoga.

After the horrifying attack at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I immediately ceased my previous worries and negative thoughts about my upcoming Brooklyn Half Marathon.  I was very worried about my various aches and pains, disoriented and off my game after coming back from (and down from!) the wedding, worried I had made a mistake by registering for a race with about half the time to train I'd ideally like to have - all kinds of minor things that seem beyond unimportant after the tragic events in Boston.

As a runner, as someone with family in Boston, as someone who works with children, as an American, just as a human, I've been really upset over what happened.  The images, seen and unseen, of so much carnage, of lost lives and limbs instantly put things back into perspective.

This race was supposed to be about me keeping active after the wedding - having another source of motivation to get out there when I'm feeling tired.  And aside from the 10K we ran back in September, almost all of my races are for selfish reasons.  Not that I think that's a bad thing or that I feel terribly guilty about it, because I still think running for my health or my enjoyment are perfectly worthy, but between what happened in NYC around the New York Marathon and now this in Boston, I can't help but feel like I ought to be doing more.  I think runners could use all the support the country can give them as well as give back as much as our able bodies, minds, and hearts can.

I now want to dedicate my upcoming race to raise money for the victims of the bombing who lost their limbs so they can be outfitted with the best prosthetics possible - especially the children.  When I think of the beautiful children I work with every single day through Karma Kids Yoga, The Giving Tree, and the children in my family, I can't imagine any child being robbed of the ability to live as active and free a life as they possible can.  Please consider donating - I'll be working to get in touch with anyone I can in the Boston area who can help me get the funds into the proper hands, and I'll figure out as soon as possible how to set up a forum for online donations.

"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon."
-Kathrine Switzer-

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