Faith in humanity: restored

I don’t know about you, but the past couple of weeks have put me through the wringer. Bad news and disappointments just keep coming. ENOUGH, I say. I saw this set of pictures posted on a friend’s Facebook wall, and though it’s not the kind of thing I often click on, I did. And it did indeed, even if only momentarily, “restore my faith in humanity.” However silly it may seem, I needed that random collection of photos to remind me that there is still a lot of good in the world and there are good people out there working to make things better.

team-kateCase in point: last weekend WSCADV hosted our second annual Refuse To Abuse® 5K at Safeco Field. It’s always a good time. Now, I know fun is not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when people gather together for a cause as, well, depressing, as domestic violence. (Hey, I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking). However, FUN is exactly what we were having. The baseball fans who just wanted to experience running through Safeco Field, but maybe learned a little about healthy relationships along the way, had fun. The teams who turned out because they survived a personal tragedy involving domestic violence had smiles on their faces and brought joy to the event. More than a thousand people came together that summer evening to share time, space, stories, and hope. My coworker’s partner came begrudgingly , but left with a completely new perspective. He said that he thought he understood everything he needed to know about domestic violence, but seeing the huge crowd and so many everyday people who have been personally impacted by domestic violence was a light bulb moment for him.

You know what I saw in the faces of runners, spectators, and volunteers? Hope. I saw the incredible potential we have when we come together to create peaceful, loving communities. We’ve still got plenty of work to do, (which is painfully apparent as I write this at my desk). But it’s events like these that refuel us.

Running for each other

I’ve had many false starts when it comes to fitness. I’ve started swimming, weights, yoga, and running, and then I stop. So when I started asking my friends to register for the 5K run/walk WSCADV is organizing, I had to face the fact that I’ve never  registered or trained for one myself.

To my friends who run, I tell them things like “I could never do that” or “it seems too intense.” My response sounds a lot like what I hear when I tell people what I do for a living. Domestic violence can be prevented, but it’s going to take all of us. You may not make it your career, but everyone can get involved in some way.

So instead of merely telling people to register for (maybe another) 5K in a disconnected way, I am investing in the process myself. I am committed to having fun, being enthusiastic, and focusing on my well-being. I am going to run regularly so that I am a confident, assured runner, and invite my friends to do the same.

And I also invite you to invest in the lives of domestic violence survivors, children, and yes, even abusers. Bring a renewed commitment and energy that you’ve never brought before by being curious, compassionate, and action-oriented.

I’m confident that I can (finally) complete training for at least a 5K, and I am equally confident that you can play a role in ending domestic violence.

I invite you to sign up for the Refuse To Abuse® 5K at Safeco Field if you have never run before. Please comment and let me know how it’s going.