A couple of days ago, during my “appropriate socially distant” running training, a woman in her car stopped me. Mind you, our city has been greatly supportive in outdoor exercise by expanding the street bike lane to accommodate runners and bikers. Thinking that she needed help, I took off my headphones, and then she proceeded to yell racial slurs and comments along the lines of “Asian genocide”, “You people taking over America”, “Be careful who sees you running outside” etc. Incidentally, a police officer on his motorcycle was passing by and I flagged him down. He took one look at the women, and continued biking away. I ran as fast as I could and once I saw the car following me, I tried to take a picture on my phone, and with that, she sped off.
This pandemic has not only brought the best in our community, but also the worse. Fear is a strong emotion and when inappropriately channeled, it can really dishearten the pulse of people. I’ve already had fears prior to this incident, like people being scared when I am around others because of my livelihood of being a nurse. Essential workers at this time is a duty of heart. However, they come back to homes with the fear of getting to close…when we need people the most.
Yet now, bringing how I look and what I was born as in the forefront of what puts me in danger, that’s a WHOLE different story. I just want to run and train, but I don’t want people to see me and chase me with their cars because THEY are scared. Ignorance is not bliss. And with people cooped up in their houses, the fear of the unknown only strengthens while the world suffers.
So with that, I just want to thank all the people this Memorial Day weekend who stood fear in the face and did not let it stop them. They fought for the rights of our country, the overflowing duty in their heart. And I also want to commend the essential workers and my hospital coworkers who fight the internal struggle every day to save others and protect themselves and their homes. This battle is uphill, but we will see the SUN soon.
To face fear means to find good and gratitude in the world. So with that, when I’m ready again, I will be grateful that I stood fear in the face. And I’ll run.
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