Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why 26.2? For The Higher Good

Three days away from the 2010 Chicago Marathon. I was told that by now I should not be doing any training. I should simply be resting. I planned to get a few miles in today, but on second thought, I decided to rest. After all, I felt feverish yesterday and throughout the day, I have been feeling a scratch in my throat. I am drinking fluids, stretching, and taking my Reliv nutritional supplements. Family and friends have been expressing support and encouragement. There are a few who have asked why am I even attempting to run 26.2 miles. I made a commitment to do so.

Having of time on my hands today, I reflected on the reason I would ever consider running a marathon. I found myself thinking about my mindset when I sat down to write my full length screenplay of a short film script I had written years prior. During this process, I read plenty of online articles and watched many television programs featuring actors, writers, and other entertainers. I learned plenty from those articles and programs. I fantasized about having my work produced and experiencing great success. I was drawn to the fame, money, and women. Those became my driving forces. I wrote and wrote then began acting classes. After a few years, the first piece I submitted was selected to be part of Prop THTR'S New Play Festival in Chicago. I met with the director, Emily Lotspeich, the dramaturg, G Riley Mills, and the cast.. I listened to their notes and worked on the rewrites. After spending hours at rehearsal, I rushed home to start on more rewrites figuring I would probably get through the first few pages within an hour, but because it was already 11p.m., I would not work on it long. Before I knew it, it was after midnight. Then after 2a.m. I kept working. Then I noticed it was 6a.m. I thought to myself, somewhere out in the world, my parents, siblings, friends, nieces, and nephews were getting ready for a hard day at work or school and here I was pulling an all nighter typing away at a computer. I was not being paid for this work. I was simply doing what I love. I was sharing my story. At that very moment I realized, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life! I want to tell stories, share myself, and evoke a response as a writer, actor, and director. I shared my excitement with my dear friend, Rani, who said, "That doesn't surprise me. You've always said you do it for the fame, money, and women, but deep in my heart I have always believed that deep in your heart you do it for the right reason. You do it for the higher good."

Maybe Rani knew it all along. Maybe other friends knew it too, but I did not truly see it until that moment. I am given opportunities to do special things. I can make a difference. I always thought that once I had the fame and money, I could flex my influence to bring about change. Yet I realized that I need not wait for the fame and money. I simply had to commit to giving of myself. When I have the fame and money, then those will be added bonuses, but at this point, I can still be a light for those in darkness. I can spotlight good causes through my artistic and athletic ventures. I can participate for the higher good. That is why I am willing to take on the challenge of 26.2 miles. As my dear friend, Therese Rowley, said to me recently, "Let your legs run for those who can not." I can speak for those who can not. I can race to raise awareness for individuals and organizations. Along the way, I can lead a healthy active lifestyle while carving out a physique which truly makes me Sexy Isra!

This debut at the marathon distance is for me. I am prepared to push my body and learn something new about my body and mind. This debut is also for a great cause. Great lakes Adaptive Sports Association which is a non profit which organizes competitive and non competitive athletic events for youth and adults who have physical and visual disabilities... On Sunday, I hope to shine for my own benefit. I also hope to shine for the higher good.

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