I’ve written before about how my birthday is on 9/11, a day which has come to be synonymous with an attack on our country–and the fear, terror and protectionism that attack triggered.
But as much as 9/11 brought out some of the worst in American ideology (anti-immigration, anti-Muslim sentiments and “preventive war,” among other bits of ugliness), it also brought out the best in Americans–helping neighbors, a renewed spirit of civic duty and a calling to public service.
In an effort to highlight the best of the American spirit, I believe we need to set aside 9/11 as a special day to serve our neighbors and reflect the best of our country.
Today I am beginning my 12-week training program to culminate in running the Chicago half-marathon on 9/11/11. While this is a meaningful goal for me personally (I currently can run only about 1.5 miles before stopping to walk a while), it’s also a community event: I’m running to benefit an organization that I am dedicated to, The Cara Program.
I hope you’ll join me. In fact, to make this more of a community event, I’ve started up a challenge using the Nike+ platform. For every person who joins my challenge at Nike+ and completes a half-marathon on 9/11, I’ll donate $1 to charity (max $1500), split 50/50 between The Cara Program and the Chicago-based charity of a participant.
So join the effort to “Reclaim 9/11,” you can start training today and be ready to run 13 miles on 9/11, 12 weeks from now. And if you click here and join my challenge and leave a comment with the name of your charity and why you support them, you could raise up to $750 for the charity of your choice.
Spread the word to all the runners you know–you don’t have to be physically in Chicago or at the Chicago half-marathon to participate. You can run anywhere in the world as long as you upload your run to Nike+.
Or, start now to plan your own way to Reclaim 9/11. As Nike might say, “Just do SOMETHING”
(Thanks for asking! You can pledge to support my half-marathon run for the Cara Program here)