Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I #Run3rd

In January 2012, I chose to start thinking about other people. 

It was a revelation for me. I’ve always cared about my fellow man, but this time I made a big temporal decision. Truth be told, this was a spiritual moment for me; I would open up my life as a long distance runner to everyone. Running had been my hobby, my sport, my passion and my salvation long enough. It was time to share. It was time to make it about other people. It was time to make a pronouncement that my life, my joy, my pain—everything about me that is summed up with running—had to be about something bigger. It was time to dig deep and decide: what do I care about enough to announce to God, the World and Everyone that I would Dedicate my LA Marathon Race to. 

It came down to this: First, I had to place myself at the top of the list. It starts with me, and that matters. That is natural law. But, who would I die for, who means everything to me? My wife and children, without question, I chose them. But, my mission wasn’t over. Something was missing. Beyond myself, beyond my precious loved ones, who else could I stand up for? Who should I step out and without any doubt, fear or hesitation, exalt? 

The answer came to me. In fact, it came through me. Who is that important to me? 


My challenge, is to make you understand, make you trust that it's possible. One person can, yes in fact they MUST be able to hear about a life, and care enough to dedicate a piece of their heart, literally pumping and sweaty, gritty and determined, and offer a gift of life-giving circulation to that stranger's hopes, thoughts, prayers and feelings. There are many ways to love. This is one of mine. 

Therefore in January 2012 I wrote the Run3rd mission statement. It is alive and the journey of the idea has grown wings. Today, I am asking you and everyone you know and everyone you don't to make Dedications of your own. In the spirit of unity, phrase them like this: #Run3rd for {your dedication}. I will #run3rd for all of them. Anyone who wears the symbol #run3rd will be honoring all of these Dedications. 

And finally, like it or not, I will #run3rd for You.

—Sean Astin, October 16, 2014