Here we go -- again -- my friends.
I'm running. Ridiculously running. Another Half Marathon.
But here is the thing -- I'll keep running for the queer youth of Vermont. I.just.will.
This time is a little different though -- I'm not running the Vermont City Marathon event [with a whole bunch of other Outright Vermont fanatics! -- and not because I don't like them ;) -- instead I'll be a back-up and run a part of one of the relay teams if they need someone last minute] because of a huge event that I'll be in charge of heading up the weekend before -- that is going to seriously take over my life for the month leading up to that event. So instead, I'm setting out to run the Plattsburg Half Marathon on April 22nd [yes, a whole month earlier than the Vermont City Marathon]. And I need your help...
Being in the midst of some health related things -- and transitions at work [both jobs that I'm working] -- training has started off a little rocky -- but on Sunday, February 26th -- I set out for my 7 mile training run [on the treadmill] and was successful! 7 miles -- 66 miles -- averaged a 9:22 min/mile. [Note: fastest I think I've ever run this distance!] So, I'll keep at it -- and with your support, I'll be encouraged and inspired to keep on trekking!
I started running in 2010 -- and to date have completed 3 half marathons [some prettier than others] and a handfull [or two] of 5K races. I have found a love for running. Which is scary. And had you asked me if running would ever be something I would be interested in doing -- I would have laughed in your face. It's not always easy. But I've found that I can almost always get to a place where it is fun. Whether that be that I'm running on my own jamming out to some questionable tunes, running with friends who challenge me to go faster and faster, running with friends who challenge me to steady my pace, or running with my dog [who wants to be running after OTHER dogs] -- it is always fun.
So -- now I'm asking you to support all of this fun that I'm having -- yes, that makes sense, right? Here's why I need your help:
1) I've been doing work with Outright for 2.5 years and its been absolutely amazing. I have been working with and on behalf of queer youth all over Vermont -- and these youth are spectacular. Seriously. They are doing amazing things -- and if I can help support all of their hard work by raising some funds for them to do great things -- count me in!
2) Last year we launched Camp Outright -- a residential summer camp for one week in August that was open to queer and allied youth ages 13-22. Yes. Camp. Holy cats. It was an experience for sure. It was wonderful, amazing, beautiful, tiring, challenging, wearing, delightful, and pure joy -- all rolled into one. Here is the thing -- many of our youth are unable to afford camp because of various reasons -- and with that, we offer camp on a sliding scale [meaning: you pay what you can -- and if that's nothing -- they you pay nothing. not one cent.] So, in order to support a week of camp for ONE camper, we need $375.00. Yes, that's for one. Last year we had 40 campers at camp -- we are expected a far higher turnout this year. The more campers, the more the need rises.
3) For all of the reasons that I run for the queer youth of Vermont, running is also taking care of me. Yes, it's true. If you expect me to show up to schools to work with students on being kind to one another, with teachers and staff on being an ally for the queer youth in their schools, to camp, and to the various other events and conversations that I have with and on behalf of queer youth around here -- then I've got to do things that are related to self-care for me. So, with every mile that I run, I'm running for all of the people that I am working for. I'm running to stay healthy [physically, mentally, emotionally], I'm running to role model an active lifestyle [which I have NOT always had -- trust me], I'm running so that I can show up in every space that I do to do the work that I do.
So, I'm asking -- no matter how large or small your donation may be -- for your support in this adventure. Whether it's $10 that buys a pizza for Friday Night Group, $20 that supports a raffle prize for youth who participate in our sexual health and wellness workshops, $50 that takes me to another school to do an Anti-Harassment presentation with students, or $100 which pays 25% of one campers registration -- it ALL matters.
So, what can you do today? I'll also be looking for words of support, funny stories to remember while running, advice, music suggestions, and love along the way. This isn't all about the $$.