In Our Footsteps

Father’s Day message to the MSM readers by Keron Alleyne & Jesse Spellman

Introduction: Running, to the untrained eye, may come off as a selfish quest. How fast can I get? How far can I go? How much longer can I sustain the effort - and on and on. Today, I write this piece alongside Mid Strike Founder, Jesse Spellman, to dispel that idea of the selfish quest. We also write this as a tribute to every dad, father, or baba that has laced up some shoes to go running. 

“Diabetes runs in your family because nobody runs in your family”, is a quote that will never leave my mind. If I don’t come across that quote, I don’t start running, I don’t run a marathon, and I don’t think long term about my life health wise. I’ve been fortunate enough to know all my grandparents in my life and at one point or another they’ve had health complications with diabetes. The greatest wakeup call was my grandfather’s passing in 2013 which really made me think deeply about where I wanted to be health wise long term. My story is one that most Black men will experience especially if you live in America. It may not be diabetes, but it may be high blood pressure, heart disease or obesity that impacts the lives of men.   

When I started running, I wasn’t a dad yet, but I knew the trajectory of my life would be impacted forever if I chose stagnation over activation. I got active and it opened a whole new world for me. When I started running it was a direct challenge that I appreciated because of its brutal honesty with results. You cannot cheat the work, the miles, and the time needed to achieve the goals you may have in mind through running. By 2016, I was a full-fledged runner and connected to a run crew that was founded to get black men more active (Black Men Run) due to the damning statistics that black men lead on. By 2016, my son was also welcomed into this world during a very interesting time in history.

For me, it was the perfect time. I had taken my health seriously and lost over 30 pounds by running and changing to a pescatarian diet. I had stopped just running to run and now attached meaning to every mile. Now inextricably the excitement of my soul is connected to my soles and the movement I now crave. And over the years, I’ve notched more miles to build a discipline that I pray will be an example for my son in the years to come. Every running is leaving footprints that I hope he will someday use to order his path in life.

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