I have always felt blessed but running reinforces and cements this feeling in an incredible way. Think about the number of muscle movements and bone alignments that must take place for this simple yet complex activity to matetialize. I marvel at the sheer mental will that is required to take up running even if one’s physicality permits it. Yet I am blessed to be one of the lucky few who can do it and enjoy doing it.
i have never imagined running would enrich my life or my cultural experience as it did. If my running is a solo activity as any musical instrument then my running community is like the orchestra. Through my running group, I learned that this year marks the 150th anniversary since the First Transcontinental Railroad was built. Yet little was known about our forefathers, the first Chinese’s experience, their contributions and toils in the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of the contribution of Chinese men who were instrumental in building a key segment of the railroad. Instead, they were discriminated because of their race and perceived reticence. Their contributions were undocumented until recently. In effort to tell their stories (and really ours), the Museum of Chinese in Americas launched “MOCA Spike 150 - Running Forward with Our Stories”. (Spike refers the ceremonial metal spike that was nailed into the railroad to commemorate the completion of the project.). While our forefathers’ stories were never recorded and their effort, unrecognized, we have the privilege and opportunity to honor and give a voice to them. Equally important, we are at a crossroad of history to craft and own a narrative that is overdue. As a mother of young children, I can’t imagine a better gift for my kids. I hope they too will one day run forward with our stories.
I am helping the Museum of Chinese in America raise money so more people will learn about our stories and if luck would have it, perhaps i will raise enough to gain an entry to this year‘s NYC Marathon. Game on! If not, I will be dedicating the next two half marathons (NJ Half in April & Brooklyn Half in May) to my forefathers!!!
At the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), a national cultural institution that tells the untold stories in the making of America through the lens of the Chinese immigrant experience, visitors are greeted with the Chinese proverb: “*A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.*” It is our way of honoring the pioneering spirit of not only Chinese immigrants but all immigrants who sacrificed and dared to take the first step that blazed a path for future generations in America.
In 2019, MOCA celebrates the 150th anniversary of the historic moment when a golden spike was driven into the ground at Promontory Summit in Utah to mark the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. To commemorate this milestone, MOCA has launched the MOCA Spike 150 initiative to honor the resilience, grit, and ingenuity symbolized by the thousands of laborers — many of whom were of Chinese ancestry — who toiled and gave their lives to build America into the country it is today. This nine-month journey will allow MOCA to tell 150 untold stories in the making of America as participants of MOCA Spike 150 run across the country culminating in the TCS NYC Marathon on November 3, 2019. MOCA welcomes you to join us in this unprecedented initiative, and welcomes runners to follow in the footsteps of this country’s first pioneers and make history.