Right now I'm preparing our next Gals Run Q&A for publication this Monday and it's really stopping me in my tracks. I don't want to give too much away because this seriously feels like such a special piece and person, but her words are strong and her message powerful.
She has me thinking about access and voice. At our sport's core, it should be simple and accessible. We really don't need more than a pair of trainers and our bodies, though many products can be pushed on us to make us feel better or look cooler (hi guilty) or run more efficiently. Still, why do so many of us head to a quiet road or trail head every day?
Because it's centering. It simplifies life and calms nerves. It gives us more energy and excitement to pursue our days.
And still, our access arms only reach so far. Everyone does not have the same social fluidity and positioning. Some, more than others, feel the weight of our -isms. Those -isms are the reason I felt compelled to create this space and community. They're why I wanted to share stories and connect women together who have been wanting more from our normal channels. But my privilege only presents me with one -ism. I only balance one social identity that can put me at risk or make me more uncomfortable than perhaps a man running by.
There is so much more room for our sport to grow. With only certain people able to access the peace and fulfillment we all receive from running, how do we expect energy to continue to flow into our movements. Equity is not a given in the real world and it is not well-reflected in the running world.
I don't have the answers yet. Nor will I ever give answers to other's truth. I am hoping to open some space for recognition and conversation. It's not a difficult issue to identify. Go on to any running account on instagram and see who is primarily represented in the photos. Look at the lineups in some of our biggest trail races in the U.S. and see who had access to the start line. There's still so much more growing to do. And the growth starts with acknowledgment and chatter.