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bad dreams, new year’s resolutions, and trash

A few weeks ago, I had a dream that I ran five miles. This might seem like a long, boring, unpleasant way to spend your sleeping hours. But trust me, running dreams are pretty fun. Dream running is easy, it’s fast, and you usually are doing something strange like running barefoot or running from the law or running because my car broke down and it seems like the next logical mode of transportation.

Running dreams, however, are bittersweet. They usually mean I’m not doing enough awake-running. So when one of my favorite friends proposed a 5k, I said yes in a heartbeat!

Okay fine, I said “maybe” then I willfully forgot about it, then I said “ehhhh” and then I put it off for a few more days, and then earlier this week, I finally signed up… to run a 5k on September 30th. Gulp.

This is my first 5k! It is also September and one of my New Year’s Resolutions was to run not one but TWO 5ks… so it’s about time I get on that, huh?

This 5k is in support of Safe Passage, a non-profit that supports Guatemalan children that live around the capital city’s largest garbage dump. If you are wondering what exactly that sort of childhood entails, you might pick up Andy Mulligan’s Trash. I read this book for a class and while it largely a bit of a heist-adventure story, Mulligan captures the impoverished setting with alarming, deliberate detail, lens so closely focused on the unbelievable details of the characters’ everyday existence in extreme poverty that it feels downright dystopian, like some unnamed force has destroyed society, leaving poor families and children to sort through the trash of the upper class. Spoiler alert: it’s not science fiction. Mulligan based Trash on his time visiting the slums of Manila, on this planet, in this generation, and organizations like Safe Passage work to help these present-day, real-live children attend school by providing school supplies, uniforms, and other support.

So, if you are the kind of person who likes to throw 5 dollars into a random charity that you come across (like I am), please consider throwing your 5 dollars toward my 5k efforts. Here is my fundraising page. I would love to be able to donate a hundred dollars or so, if I can! It will help me run faster, I think. Maybe not as fast as in my dreams… but maybe it will help me crack an 11-minute mile. Or take two walking breaks instead of three. This is going to be a feat of true athleticism, people, one I have been training for slowly but surely for more than two years. If you are awake at 8:00 a.m. EST next Sunday, then cheer me on from afar!

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