Who I Am, Why I Run, and Will You Run With Me?: Some Information and an Invitation

My name is Ben Fader, and I love to run. In what follows, I wanted to tell you a little about 1) who I am, 2) why I run, and 3) offer an invitation to those this resonates with.

WHO I AM (Some Back Story about Me and Running) 

A little about me...

I'm a lifelong South Seattle resident who cares about God, people and this place (Burien in particular). I love my family (wife, Courtney, and kids, Hosanna and Theo), being active, cultivating community and exploring topics of theology and spirituality with others. For me, running is a lifestyle, a habit that helps me thrive. My journey in running goes something like this:

I first fell in love with running in elementary school. My asthma was still pretty severe at that point, and I sometimes would collapse in an asthma attack after a run or workout, but I found it exhilarating. I loved it for the challenge it presented to my body, and I just liked moving fast. Come high school, I joined cross country and found that running could be a great conduit for community. I loved the different workouts, the conversation interspersed with panting, and I loved the way I felt after a hard practice. Cross Country at Highline High School also gave me greater insight and awareness for my surrounding community. It gave me courage to explore in more runs on my own. I didn't much care for races (they stressed me out!), but my love for running persisted. In and after college, I struggled to keep a running habit, and after I graduated found I was pretty out of shape. As I sought to pick up running again, I was having knee pain that I had never experienced before. I had a couple friends who had started running barefoot or in vibrams, so I did some reading and started experimenting. Pretty soon I was hooked, running more consistently, farther and with less pain than I had in years. I'm taking the barefoot training pretty slow, but I am loving running in my Luna sandals! It has been a creative challenge, a chance for me to learn new things about myself as I push my limits, and I am running lighter and faster than ever. I'm interested in distance running primarily when it comes to races, but I just love to move! I want to run a 50 miler by this time next year, and am currently training for my second marathon.

Now that you know a little about me, let me tell you some of WHY I run.

WHY I RUN (3 reasons, not comprehensive)

1) Running is a practice that gives me PEACE.
Running, among other things, is a spiritual practice for me. Generally when I wake up in the morning, my brain is already on overdrive. My visionary dreaming tendencies are at full speed. In the vortex that is an overactive mind, it can be difficult to sift through the clutter and consciously choose my way of being. Running is my conduit to clarity. It's an activity that helps me find stillness. In moving, straining and exerting effort, I find solitude and serenity. Running is a practice that helps me to train my thoughts and step back from my emotions. Running ignites the heart and stills the mind. Running is my peace.

2) Running helps me see and love my PLACE.
Running is also a way for me to get out, go on an adventure, explore. Whether in and around town or on a trail, running is one way to experience my wonderful neighborhoods and landscapes. When I run, I feel more connected to the places I live, move and have my being. When I'm at home, sometimes I forget that there are whole ecosystems, neighborhoods and systems of human connection. When I'm out on a run, I'm encountering these places. The trees and birds, the trails and buildings, the patterns of human activity. Running gives me an avenue to appreciate and experience the places I care about.

3) Running is a way to be and to feel POWERFUL.
Most runners I know aren't body builders, I'm certainly not, but running is a real way of strengthening both body and soul. In running, I face my own perceived barriers. I build endurance. I can set big goals and accomplish them, all the while expanding both my inner and outer capacity. I suppose the same could be said about any sport or endurance event, but my power zone is running. When I ran my first marathon, it was an opportunity to push through some intense physical pain while proving to myself that I could do something daunting. I came face to face with my own stories and limiting beliefs while pushing my body to what seemed like the limit. Even if it's not a marathon, after a great run I always feel enlivened and accomplished. Running is a way to be and feel powerful.

WILL YOU RUN WITH ME? (this is the invitation part)

I'm looking for people that, like me, share a love for running and value it as a key activity for their life journey. I'm looking for people that are creating an active lifestyle, and love running for both the holistic and integrative benefits. I'm looking for people that love Burien and the South Seattle area, and people who love to explore. In short,  I'm looking for people that love to run.

I am currently working to form a running group that meets on a weekly basis, most likely on the weekend. If you are interested, please email runners@wabiburien.org and request information about the running group I will be facilitating. If there is enough interest, we may even be able to start multiple groups at different times and different levels, but it all starts by taking the first step.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for running. I hope to see you soon!

In stride,

Ben Fader
Benjamin FaderComment