This past Saturday Glenn and I loaded up the Boner Bus and took 8 of my seniors down to the Shamrock 4 Mile walk/run. Chuck Lofton was calling for rain, but thankfully it held out until about an hour after we finished.
I started scheduling my seniors to walk for exercise last year. I never thought I would be walking up and down the monon south of 38th street training a bunch of seniors… but I love it. I love it when we are at our halfway point and Linda hits the stop sign to signify we are getting there! I love how hard they work for the goal to finish. Over the past 5 years my love for running has grown so much and I didn’t want to keep that part of my life so separate from the seniors, which is why I started the walking program for them. Since last spring they have participated in 4 organized walks. In 2009 they did the Big Ten Hoops Day 5k, 500 festival mini-marathon and the Arsenal Tech 5k. For 2010 we kicked of the race season with the Shamrock Walk downtown. Yes, the mini was a BIG deal! A lot of hard work that was paid off with medals, smiles, subway sandwiches, and bragging rights that they walked a mini marathon.
When you go to races like this, you generally see a lot of middle class America. People like me. You don’t usually see an 80 year old lady, who lives in a rough neighborhood, living on a fixed income of $700.00 a month. I love to see these cultures collide and wish is happened more often. I stand with my seniors looking around at all of the “Lindsey’s” at the race just thinking about finishing with a good time and looking foward to what is in store for their evening ahead.
I would like to put myself in a category that is different from all of these other Lindsey’s at the race. A category that says I care, I’m not like these other people who have no idea what goes on east of college, a category that separates me. But the truth is I’m not different, I can’t say this is true. Because at the end of the day when I get off work I just want to go workout, take Cadence to the dog park and be home in my nice, safe, warm house with my nice things and watch American Idol. (it almost makes me cringe to say my nice things, because of course the things don’t matter really)
Not that there is anything wrong with wanting to be safe at home, but I can’t help but wonder what is going on under the bridges and down an alley on east 10th street. Am I different from that life because Greg and Lori from Bloomington are my parents and they had enough money to send me to college and support a comfortable lifestyle for me? I don’t want to go to work and them come home to my safe environment every single day. I want to be challenged and walk where it is not so safe.
What do we have to do to change the division in our city? I am so thankful for the opportunities I have been given by working at the center. If it weren’t for my job, I can honestly say I would be blind to many of the realities of our city. How do we open this door to those that don’t work in these places? I want to scream please don’t ignore these people that matter, that matter just as much as I matter or you matter.