The 26.2 miles runs grew on me as I looked forward to training for them throughout the year. That meant getting up at crazy hours of the morning to get training runs in.
Rain or shine, I was out on the street or beach running while normal people were sleeping. I had made changes to my diet to get “mean and lean.” I remember my sister-in-law, who had not seen me for a while, saying to me, “You look like you have AIDS,” because I had lost so much weight in training.
Besides the endorphins high and the desire to feel fit, why had I taken up running marathons? I was a sprinter in my early years, why did I turn to distance running?
I ran because I could run; yes, I could run long and hard to escape, even for a moment, life's tensions. It was linked to accomplishments and running out the unfinished business of my childhood trauma.
I could not run then, but now I had enough endurance to run my personal best, to see the trees, to see the sky, to see the ocean, to remind myself that building endurance was a process.
I recalled when I first started training I could not run a half a block without being out of breath. I kept at it with determination, and before long it got easier and easier–half a mile turned into a mile, a mile turned into two.
Praise God for using my participation in marathons as a reminder of the miles I had already completed in my life journey: the experience of an alcoholic father, the death of my oldest brother, the shame of being sexually molested, the two near death encounters…”1
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
Studies by David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that
· 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse;
· Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a
childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident;
· During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually
· Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually
· Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13.
Bureau of Justice Statistics report
A child who is the victim of prolonged sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal or distorted view of sex. The child may become withdrawn and mistrustful of adults, and can become suicidal (page 1)
Children who do not live with both parents as well as children living in homes marked by parental discord, divorce, or domestic violence, have a higher risk of being sexually abused (page 171).
In the vast majority of cases where there is credible evidence that a child has been penetrated, only between 5 and 15% of those children will have genital injuries consistent with sexual abuse (page 2).
Child sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact; such abuse could include noncontact abuse, such as exposure, voyeurism, and child pornography (page 1). 2
Robert Hendricks, former marathon runner, sexual assault survivor, and now Founder of Cry Heard Support Inc., Board members, volunteers, will lace up their running shoes to participate with many others in the Cry Heard Support Inc., Walk Towards the Cry 5K Run/Walk. The event is scheduled for June 24, 2017, and is an effort to raise funds to increase awareness and prevention of Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, or "modern-day slavery."
Walk Towards The Cry 5K Run/Walk
El Dorado Park East Regional Park
7550 E. Spring Street
Long Beach, CA 90815
1. Pastor Hendricks, Robert. From a Cry to a Shout. Tarentum, Pennsylvania: Word Association Publisher, 2006