|Event organizer Alison Desir.|
This week I learned that this awesome group has been making plans to keep the momentum of their tremendous success going by organizing more runs throughout the country this summer. They put out a call for ambassadors to join them in this continued effort, and I honestly in this moment can't think of one single thing in the world I've ever been more well-suited to do.
Through my years of writing this blog, I've been approached countless times by race and running product promoters and marketers with offers to serve as a brand ambassador. This has never been of interest to me, as this blog is a simple, quiet labor of love for me. But this? This is something different. In reading that post, I saw my lifetime of experiences as a runner, a student of feminism and an advocate for women's rights, a writer, and an engaged citizen come together into one clear and more-complete picture. I want to help.
If you read this blog regularly, something you know about me is that I'm always game for a new running adventure. I've done a triathlon. I've tried obstacle course racing. I've even done a pack burro race in the mountains of Colorado, tethered to an 800 pound donkey. I've loved running marathons throughout this beautiful country, and enjoy sharing my love of this sport.
But what you might not know about me is that women's issues have been a priority in my life, from the time I figured out that our rights and protections are constantly under threat. I was lucky enough to grow up with a mother who worked in a reproductive health care setting, and absolutely no awareness that access to these services was something that everyone didn't have. That awareness shifted in college, and my path took a sharp turn. I double majored in Women's Studies and Sociology, and went on to earn a joint Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degree. My master's thesis was on the subject of women and domestic violence. I've now worked as a social worker and health educator for nearly twenty years (what?), and women's issues remain front and center in my life.
So of course, I applied. Fingers toes, and shoelaces are crossed tightly.
I personally relied upon Planned Parenthood for my own primary and reproductive health care for over a decade, and have done my best to support them - financially and otherwise - ever since. I marched proudly in the San Diego Women's March on January 21st, and watched the Run4AllWomen runners make their way to D.C. with great excitement. And whether I'm selected as an ambassador or not, as they expand this effort around the country this year, I will find a way to help.