the lone runnerby toni giselle stuart I am a lone runner. I run to get further away from you, […]
I am a lone runner. I run to get further away from you, to find me on the road, to find the innate rhythm between breath and beating heart, feet pounding tar. I run to find the words I’m too afraid to say, to imagine saying them to you despite my fear. I run to let go of all the unsaid words holding me back, to lose myself in the road, the trees, the passing cars, the stares from drivers, the waves from other runners. I run to know how I sit in my skin, to know why I cry and to know that if I can last 21.1km on the road there’s nothing else I can’t do. I run to know focus and determination; to spin the cobwebs from my dreaming head, shake off yesterday’s dust, last year’s pain, tomorrow’s angst, to find only today, the day before me, the one the sun has chosen to rise up on, the day that waits for me when I strip off these running shoes. I run to know my limits and to push them. I run to know what it feels like when I feel like I can’t go any further, so I can find the voice inside me that says I can. I run to know determination and perseverance on the road, in the hope it will spill over into all the other spheres of my life. I run to know me, alone, without anyone else’s nod, opinion or sanction, to know that whether or not you love me tomorrow doesn’t matter because in this moment, as my feet pound pavement, hips square, back straight, chest out, eyes looking to the horizon – I know what it feels like to fly. In this moment anything is possible but only one thing is real: me running this road. I run to know me, which, I’m starting to realise, is all any of us can ever really ask of this life… March 19, 2009
Four years later, I continue to run for these same reasons. And, I’ve decided to use my running to help other people discover their own sense of self too. On Saturday March 30, I am running the Two Oceans Half Marathon to raise R3000 to support the work of I Am Somebody!, a Cape Town-based NGO that does amazing work in youth development and community building, which I have the privilege to serve on the board of.
I Am Somebody! is a group of ordinary Somebody’s who believe that together we can begin to create an integrated, reconciled and resilient South Africa. We bring people of different classes and cultures together to listen to, support and witness the steps young adults are taking in their lives.We do this because our society is still unequal and the impact of this inequality disproportionately falls on our young people. Every person, of every skin colour, from every community, every culture and every class deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and to live a satisfying and fulfilling life.
Running has taught me that I Am Somebody, and I’d like to use the power of running to help other young adults realise this for themselves too.
You can help by
“Running has given me the courage to start, the determination to keep trying, and the childlike spirit to have fun along the way. Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running.” -Julie Isphording
© 2014 Toni Stuart. Designed by Jepchumba