I am not an activist… never have been and never will be. I am not naive. Yet, there was something about this situation that compelled me to at least share with a broader audience.
It all started when a woman from the Philippines requested my coaching services – Mesh. I have coached people in a few different countries; France, Canada, Peru, Germany, Texas (ok, that’s a joke people…). I fully understand and appreciate freedoms we have here in the USA that are not available in some foreign lands. I also understand cultural differences in how we view what women (and men) are capable of.
Anyway, Mesh encountered an interesting and sad situation with a local race. It is a “Takbo Bayani (hero run) Event”. However, it was going to be a “men only” event. I’ll let you read in her own words what happened from there in her entertaining and well written blog.
Get the direct story here: http://myironshoes.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/my-2cents-on-marikinas-for-men-only-21k-event/
Here is an excerpt to a follow-up email to me today:
“…Long story short… Towards the end of last week, the Sports Council in our city announced a Takbo Bayani (hero run) Event. The only hitch was that the 21K half-marathon event was announced as FOR MEN ONLY. I hollered and ranted in my myironshoes blog. We got people to email and call and complain. And the council relented and finally allowed women runners to register.
So I will be there simply to show them that women are out there and capable of completing the distance. That and only that. I have no inclination or desire to build this up to an even greater drama. And I lay no claim to a hardcore feminist agenda. But I was raised in a family with a strict code that says what you stand for, you run for… Or something close to that! Haha! So yes, I will be there…”
I want to help bring a spot light in just this little way to this situation. I know this is only one example of many around the world. I laud the efforts of people who will take a stand and fight for their rights to do a most basic thing.
Way to go Mesh! Steve Prefontaine said “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” To everyone else, let’s be thankful we can express our gift freely.