Today is the start of the sixth week of Forest Hills Runners and we are making moves. First of all, we've had a fair number of new runners join us in the past weeks, which has been great because they've made the runs that much more enjoyable. Second, we're finding new running routes through the area, which will help us to continue to explore our environment and learn new things about the neighborhood we live in. And third? Well, we have team t-shirts in the works. I'll be printing the first batch of them this week and can print more for anyone who's interested if people like what they look like. The shirts were designed by my good friend Steve Mills. You can check out the design below. Our decision to write "COMMUNITY RUNNING FOR ALL" on the back of the shirts has made me think about who all is and has also made me think about how culture impacts our perception of whether running is something we can do or if running is for someone else: someone who's thinner than we are; someone who's stronger than we are; someone who's faster than we are; someone who's more Kenyan or Ethiopian than we are; someone who likes wearing silly short-shorts or someone who likes wearing tight tights all the time.
But here's the truth: running is for everyone and the reason I created this group is to show people that fact. I spent the weekend advertising for FHR up in Franklin Park, riding my bike around and putting up fliers all over the place. The people I met who were hanging out near the golf course and in the picnic areas and the basketball court near Schoolboy Stadium were incredibly responsive to community running just as many people who I've met at communal houses, people at medical schools, people at coffee houses, and those I've chased down around Jamaica Pond have been. Community running is something for everyone; FHR is for everyone. There are some people I can't reach out to yet, such as those who speak only Spanish since our fliers are all in English and not all our run leaders are fluent in Spanish. Fortunately, that's something I'll be working on this summer and I know there are other bilingual individuals who run with us who can connect with Spanish speakers who might be interested in running with FHR.
A friend just told me about a video by stic.man of Dead Prez. He's apparently gotten into the barefoot running craze and I love how he describes the mind-body, world-body, world-mind connection that's produced through running. Check it out HERE.
The thing people need to keep in mind is that community running is for you: FHR is for you. FHR exists only to support individuals in this community in staying healthy, connecting with others you can run with and whose company you can enjoy. Community Running For All is an honest expression of what FHR stands for and because of that we need you - people from our community - to help FHR best support you in your running. Do you need shorter runs? Do you need longer runs? Do you want more runs? Do you want runs at different times? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just come out and join us for a run and tell us how we can do a better job of supporting your running and your life. I don't know if we can fulfill everything you need (carrying you while we run would be difficult), but we'll do our best.
I look forward to seeing you out there. I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and that summer is looking prosperous for everyone.