Free to Run
As we celebrated Independence Day yesterday, I couldn't help but notice all of the little things I did throughout the day because I live in a free country. The majority of my day yesterday would not have been acceptable in many countries in the world.
First thing in the morning, I went for a run in my neighborhood. I take this for granted 364 days a year, even dreading it some of those days. But how many people, especially women, yearn to go for even a single run in their city, but are not allowed to do so by their government? Or can't go run because they would very likely be abducted, killed, etc.?
If you're friends with me, you know I've been CRAZY about the Olympic Trials lately. But did you know some countries don't allow women to compete? Even if these countries "allow" the women to compete, they haven't been allowed to train in their country, so the IOC will have to give them special permission to compete since they don't meet minimum qualifying standards. Not that I am anywhere in the stratusphere close to minimum qualifying standards, but I have the freedom to work towards that if I so desire.
Here's one of the many articles about the Saudi Arabian women's possibility of competing in the Olympics for the first time: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/05/jacques-rogge-london-olympics-women-saudi-arabia_n_1650158.html?
Perhaps more sobering that knowing I am free to run whenever I want is the fact that someone died so I could have that freedom. Whatever your views on current and past wars, it's undeniable that American men and women have sacrificed their lives over the past 236 years for freedom.
As I ran, kids were missing their parents who are still fighting in the Middle East. As I noticed my lack of hydration in the heat, some of my friends were missing their husbands who are sweltering in 140 degree heat right now. All so I can run.