When Monica Lafon returned to her native Mexico city after three years in Montreal, the last thing she thought she would be doing is running.
But along came a cause, and off she went.
Read her guest post, and comment on what motivates you to exercise.
By: Monica Lafon
Last month, I ran for longer than I ever have before, and it’s thanks in part to being inspired by a cause.
I believe exercise should be fun, challenging, and most of all set you free. Yet, I’ve never been a “runner”.
Actually, I can’t stand the idea of going to the gym, getting on the treadmill, and running to the beat of an electronic clock.
No. Not for me.
But I bet you if you told me to run ten times around a football field, I could do it – no matter what.
I call it “endurance”. Reaching big goals is what drives me.
Perhaps that’s why something changed inside me when I heard about The Nike Human Race 2009. Suddenly, I felt the URGE to run.
I should explain that I’m in a period of transition, back home in Mexico city, seeing my country differently than before.
For three years, I lived in Montreal, Canada. Three good years as I earned my undergraduate degree in Journalism and Political Science.
When I decided to come back home, I wanted to get to know my country again. I wanted to know how I could contribute to society with what I had learned. I wanted to know if as a citizen, I could have the power to contribute to change.
And so I found the perfect answer: I decided to run The Nike Human Race 10K. I wasn’t going to do it alone though. When I registered along with my three cousins, we were running for something greater: “Corre por un Mexico seguro” said the back of the red t-shirt. “Run for a Safe Mexico.”
On October 24th, 18,000 people ran for change in Mexico City.
It began late, at 7 pm.
Alejandro Marti was there, at the starting line, giving his hand to every runner possible. He is the founder of “Sistema de Observacion para la Seguridad Ciudadana”, SOS, an organization that’s working to curb violence, impunity and corruption.
I had to shake his hand. So when I did and he smiled, I knew I was running the race for his son, Fernando Marti.
More than a year ago, Fernando was kidnapped and killed at the age of 14. Being the son of the owner of the biggest sports chain in the country (Deportes Marti), Fernando was a high profile target. There are many stories of other victims of violence, and many of them go unseen.
So if Alejandro can endure, we WILL endure. And we did for ten kilometers, as we ran through the unending rain.
We imagined a Safer Mexico running through the streets at night, together, passing through the most important parks and monuments – areas that reminded us of our history, our origins. We weren’t afraid anymore. We were running for a change. And when we ran, it set us free.
-Monica Lafon, Mexico City