This is Why I Run

Who knew putting one foot in front of the other, in rapid succession could prove so difficult at times? Honestly, I’ve never been much of a runner… jogger… er, fast walker. Okay, according to my wife, I’m a fast walker. I can’t help it; I have long legs.

But this running business, it’s an altogether different story. I have quite the list of reasons I ought to be running. All those warnings from my doctor top the list. Then of course there is the pure joy of it. Boy, I’d like to meet the person that first had that thought and change their mind.

Last year about this time I was running. I was doing so for no other reason than to run in my first ever 5K race. After weeks of conditioning, I ran the race and I’m pleased to report, didn’t die like I’d thought might happen. A day or two after the race I tried continuing on with my running routine, and found the motivation all but drained from me.

Mentally, I’d achieved my goal. I ran the race, I didn’t kill myself, I’d won. Before I knew it the days of fall became winter, and I had zero motivation to run. As winter slogged on, I knew in the back of my mind I needed to keep running, but I needed a new goal.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve found a new source of motivation. I’ve partnered with the Crossing Educational Center, and alternative school with campuses around our area. The Crossing is a very bright light in the midst of some bleak situations for so many students that don’t have a lot of hope left in their lives. The Crossing, really is more than academic education. They are helping to teach their students about life.

The Crossing is hosting a team for our town’s annual 5K race, during the Nappanee Apple Festival. This is the race I ran in last year. As I’ve begun training again to run in this race. I’ve found myself mentally being challenged. There have most certainly been days where waking up to run at 5:30 in the morning was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. Or the evening runs, where the sun was still beating down hot and had it not been for the pain in my legs, I’d thought myself dead.

Yet, I know I must keep putting one foot in front of the other. I have to keep running. I can’t give up. For if I give up on my training, what’s to keep any of the students at the Crossing from giving up when their class work gets too difficult? I keep running; keep moving forward in the hopes that I’ll be able to set somewhat of an example of perseverance for the students and the faculty at the Crossing. To motivate them to keep pressing on even when life gets hard.

Beyond running, and sweating, and huffing and puffing, I’m also trying to raise money for the Crossing; to help them be able to keep meeting needs in the unique way that they are able. If you’d like to support me as I run for Team Crossing, I’d be honored and grateful. It’s easy to make a donation on my behalf. Follow this link: htt://

Or you can scan this QR code.

Which ever way you choose to get yourself to the donation page, just be sure to select my name “Ryan Smith” from the drop down menu. For those that donate $20 or more, I have a special supporters badge I’ll send you. It’s my token way of saying thank you for supporting and motivating me to keep going; and also for supporting the Crossing Educational Center.

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