I was only 4 when the 9/11 attacks happened, but I am still living through the reconstruction. The attacks were devastating and world-changing for everyone, including my family, in New York City. All I remember was a lot of panic and being allowed to leave early on my first day of pre-K. Over time, I learned more about what actually happened, as my parents got more involved with their documentary Seven Days in September. More recently, I've wanted to help more especially since my dad, Steve Rosenbaum, is making a documentary on the building of the museum. He told me last week that there was a 9/11 Memorial Museum 5K run that I could join, and I signed up immediately.
Normally I run for myself. I run for gold, personal records, and the support of my peers. Running in its nature is an individual sport. When running, if I see a teammate running slower than I am, I wish him luck as I pass him, but the 9/11 5K run is different for me. The run goes from approximately Hudson River Park's Pier 57 in Hudson River Park and 15th Street to Ground Zero. A 5K run is around 3.1 miles, which is one of my strong suits as a long-distance runner. I signed up and learned that I could sponsors for my race, and got excited very quickly.
I am very excited to go on this run for multiple reasons that I have never run for before. One of the major reasons being that I am running for a cause that isn't only for personal gain. I am running for the 9/11 museums to properly commemorate the loss of life in the attacks. I am running for the families who lost a loved one in the attacks. At the same time, I am running for the hope that we as a city community will heal.
I believe that events like these turn running from a purely individual sport where you only worry about yourself into a sport that involves others. For example, in this race, I'll run to win like always, but if I see someone having trouble running, I won't run past him or her. I'll stop and make sure they're taken care of. An event like this changes the nature of the sport entirely, because there is no gold medal, only the knowledge in knowing that you helped.