Friday, December 02, 2005

PSU and an idea whose time has come!

Today I drove off to State College with one of my fellow marathoners - Jesse; who this weekend is also running the Nittany Valley Half-Marathon. We had a great chat on our way out - 2 1/2 hours work of a drive - and the funny thing is, the drive seemed like it took 30 minutes. The opportunity to openly discuss Social Justice; how we can help our brothers and sisters abroad and in the US. How we can help the most deserving brothers and sisters in the US as well. The talk went to marathoning, distance-running for causes (not just 'depression' but also representing those less fortunate in our runs). The thing is, and something that keeps me going when I feel pain in my run - I think about the fact that I can eat 2,000 calories/day; heck I can eat 3,000 or 4,000 in a day if need/want.

Regardless, many people around the world die from malnourishment. In other words, they don't get the 2,000 calories/day that the body needs to survive.

I almost see these runs as an opportunity to honor the less fortunate as well. For it is through them that I have learned about the four most important things in life:

1) Your faith in God and in yourself. (Self-esteem)

2) Your family and friends (community)

3) Your Health (Physical, Mental, Emotional)

4) Human Dignity

It's actually through the lessons learned on the (believe it or not) 7 mission trips to Central America and 3 to Appalachia that I've learned about the REAL NEEDS in life. Although that's where i can bring depression and mental health illnesses into the "mix." If you are suffering from depression or another mental health illness; your health is at risk. When you feel that way, your faith in God and yourself can be almost non-existant. Heaven forbid that you cannot handle the "depression" or other mental illness - and you take your life; leaving your family and friends without an awesome person that you cared about, wondering what the heck happened? Finally, I see an attack on Mental Health Illnesses as an attack on Human Dignity. Because they do exist. I can actually recall the happiness I had when I knew that 'how I felt had a name' and that I could see my doctor about it; and that I could feel better. To remove that 'hope' can be the equivalent of telling someon to jump off a bridge.

The great thing about www.runoverdepression.com is that ANYONE can get involved. The awesome thing is that I listened to my heart when I "came up with the idea." I felt that it was something that I could do; so that people close to me - and maybe those not as close - could feel that they could openly speak with someone who had "been there" and overcome how they (or a loved one) may be feeling.

Well today, a good friend of mine put a HUGE smile on my face when she told me that she is planning on running the Pocono Marathon with me!!!! She isn't a distance-runner, but she wants to honor a friend who had passed due to depression. I think she's awesome for doing that!!! In fact, she has already committed to the nickname "Hurricane" - and is going with "Rock you like a Hurricane" as her theme song!

So my friend; you know who you are! I love ya and you know that with that heart of yours honoring your friend; you'll be rocking the Pocono Marathon like a HURRICANE!!!

And now; I must go - the Nittany Valley Half-marathon awaits on Sunday. Hopefully I'll be on for a little bit Saturday. But until then realize two things........

1) you been.................THUNDERSTRUCK!!! ;)

2) Have a beautiful day on Saturday! Don't let it get away! :)

God bless!

Jim

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