Don’t Take Your Running for Granted

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.

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About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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3 Responses to Don’t Take Your Running for Granted

  1. mesh says:

    Halloo Coach! Lest they begin to think that this is a common practice in my country..it is actually an isolated event. The more forgiving part of our collective nature would be happy to accept this as merely reflective of the organizers inexperience than anything else. At this point the 21K event published is actually 2.4kms short. 😉 There is a running boom in this country and almost every week a race is held. All giving common access to both men and women.

    I did not expect that my attempt to explain why I was deviating so early from our program would lead to a blog entry. Haha! I’m glad you found the blog entertaining. Humor in the face of annoying realities is perhaps a trademarked “Pinoy” Filipino characteristics. We loved poking fun at that which causes us reason for pain.

    One blog that highlights this best is thebulllrunner’s running blog. Also written by a woman. With sharper horns and a voice that definitely reaches a wider audience. A visit to the comments page gives me side stitches. Unfortunate that most of the funny quips would be lost in translation.

    Anyway, thanks for the rah rah support. Like you always say, Upwards and Onwards!

  2. tgorourke says:

    I am running a half marathon in Maine in Sept. that is for women only, except for “one lucky guy” who gets in by lottery. My husband always asks me “how would you feel if they had a men only event?”

    Speaking of not taking running for granted, did you hear about the woman from Afghanistan who was set to run the marathon at the Olympics? She disappeared last month after receiving death threats – they think she’s in Norway seeking asylum. That gave me a new perspective on how lucky I am, and we all are. Thanks for the reminder on not taking anything for granted, Coach. As always, I learn from your blog.

  3. Pingback: Watching the Olympics « Middle-of-the-Pack Girl

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