Sport has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I started ballet when I was 3 years old. I remember ballet earlier than any memory. I danced a full schedule until I was 23 years old (Sacramento Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and summers at Alonzo King LINES Ballet), with my summers fully dedicated to dancing 8 hours a day, 6 days a week.
When I came back to sport later in my 20s, I did cycling, pilates, yoga, but very little running.
On March 16, 2020, I decided I would start running every day. I ran 18 miles inside my apartment at the beginning of quarantine, and then outside in NYC throughout the pandemic. Every Saturday I dedicated to a long run, rounding out about 50-60 miles per week.
Running has changed me in the last 27 weeks - on days that were so bleak and sad, days when it felt the sun would never shine again in New York City, running kept me going (with a mask on). It gave me a chance to wave to my neighbors, it gave me a chance to connect with strangers on the UWS, Harlem, Chelsea - on days when a wave from a stranger felt like a gift from the universe, it gave me time to think through challenges and overcome them, it gave me a mental recharge so I can continue to show up for my teams, colleagues, friends, family and neighbors every day during this tough year.
Sport is not something every kid has access to, especially ballet. Ballet shaped every part of my being and is part of my every day, even if no one else can see it - it's the way I think, it's the way I look at the world, it's how I walk, it's how I run, it's how I show up.
During this tough time, I have thought & prayed every day about kids who have paused their training, or simply don't have access to sport or ballet anymore.
So with the 26.2 miles I will be running on Nov 1, 2020, I am going to be raising money to donate to Harlem Dance Theatre, a ballet company that is near and dear to my heart. The $2,500 will support a child in a 32 week semester of training, for Lower School (elementry) students.
I am excited to give back to a sport and kids during this time so that they are able to lean on sport in times of crisis and challenge, so that our future generations have the support they need to build a better future.