A heavy heart makes it hard to run…

Last week, a young girl, Gwendolyn Strong from the Santa Barbara passed away from spinal muscular atrophy. That was hard to swallow.

Early this week, Santa Cruz the founding ground for our event series, was struck with a devastating loss of a little girl. I have found myself obsessing over the details, wanting to help, trying to make sense of it all. Overwhelming anger and sadness, are a few of the emotions I can actually articulate, but the feeling of the loss of this little girl is not one of which I can put into words. I didn’t know her. As far as I am aware, I don’t know someone that knows her. But what I do know is little girls and boys like her. I know the life she deserved to have. As I sit with these emotions, distracted from the work day, I continue to ponder where we go from here.

Days I feel loss for words are days I find it most important to move. No, me sweating today won’t change this horrific situation. It won’t comfort the parents of this sweet girl. But I’m hoping it will bring me a sense of peace that I can share with those I encounter. I’m hoping it will give me energy to help those who need help. Today I will strap on my running shoes and as sweat drips down my face, tears may as well. May my steps honor the loss of a innocent girl and send strength to those mourning. May my miles pay respect to this loss. My hope is, that by the end of my run I will feel stronger and more hopeful for the world. A heavy dose of endorphins for this heavy heart.

The community outreach and support that surround this unimaginable case, is something to hold onto. My mom always told me that there are more good people in the world than there are bad people. I try to go through my life expecting people to want love, joy, and the best for others. Some call this way of thinking naive, fake, privileged, too optimistic. But to live another way to me, it doesn’t make sense. I have been fortunate and I am incredibly grateful to have had a safe, healthy upbringing and supportive family;  I am aware that this makes it easier to look at the world in a positive way. But instead of drawing fear from this situation, which has been my initial thoughts, I want to outpour love. Love for all families involved, for those who put hours and energy working on this case, for strangers who volunteered and got involved, and for the rest of world. More love is needed everywhere, today and everyday.

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