Here is one passage that really stuck out to me:
If you don't feel welcomed in a sport or a job or a family, you don't stick around. Running is about acceptance - of yourself and others. When you're out on the trail sweating, it doesn't matter if the guy or gal next to you works at a fast-food joint or is CEO of Kellogg's. It doesn't matter what color they are, or how old they are, or what religion they practice, if any at all.
Running celebrates our commonality. Are we human because we can run on two feet, or does running make us human? I know I feel more like myself when I run, even if it's only a few miles, or at least I feel like the self I like best. Running inspires creativity, relieves stress, and gives us insight into ourselves and the world, making the human condition more tolerable.
But it is not enough to confine these benefits to ourselves. As runners, we each have a duty to accept the role as mentor to a slower runner or a new runner or someone who doesn't think he or she can walk around the block, let alone finish a 5k. Remember, we're not some members of a snooty, noses-in-the-air fraternity. We are runners! So let's spread the message. can you imagine how grand the planet would be if everyone were a runner? Obesity? Not a problem. Depression? Never heard of it. Sluggishness? Get the hell out.
Shakespeare go it wrong when he wrote "To sleep: perchance to dream." We run to dream, with our subconscious thoughts shaping the path of our lives.
It has been just over a year since I started running with a group. The first run, I was paired with some that ran my pace. However, after that...I was kind of left on my own. For every single run. I felt alone. I chalked it up to me just being much slower than the rest. I guess, in some ways, it is a miracle that I continued running.
After reading this, it has sealed my resolve to help other new runners feel welcome. I may not be able to keep up with them, but I can welcome them and make them feel like they fit in.