By Dayana Huerta, Taller de José Compañera
Coming from an immigrant family and being a first-generation Mexican-American, there haven’t been many odds I’ve been able to overcome. In fact, sometimes, it feels like there are more odds against me than there are for me. When I first learned that less than 1% of the population would complete a marathon in their lifetime, I thought, there’s a statistic I can become a part of. And as if running a marathon wasn’t ambitious enough already, I decided I wanted to do it in the next ten months.
Over the past two years, I’ve become especially fond of running. 2021 was a very difficult year for me emotionally. That summer, I began to run as a coping mechanism to help deal with my emotions. Completing a morning run gave me the feeling of satisfaction that making the bed first thing in the morning gives to those who make their bed every morning (I can’t say I’m a consistent member of that group of people). Nowadays, I still use running to get me out of an emotional slump from time to time. Running has become something that I am simply grateful I get to do, and that is why I am running the 2023 Chicago Marathon with Taller de José.
When my dad was a kid, he suffered a tragic accident requiring reconstructive surgery on one of his legs. After a long process of healing, he was able to walk again and live a relatively normal life. But the one thing he was not able to do anymore was run. I can only imagine how he felt, being so young and physically incapable of running around with the other kids. This is just one of the many struggles that not only my dad, but both of my parents have endured during their lifetime. Growing up in this reality, and now working at Taller de José where I hear so many client stories like the stories I’ve experienced firsthand at home, inspires me to be grateful for the everyday tasks I have the privilege of completing, like waking up and going on a run.
I hope to complete the 2023 Chicago Marathon in honor of those who can’t run, those who come running from their home countries to the U.S. in search of a better quality of life, the people who are impacted by the work that we do at Taller de Jose, and in honor of my dad, who will hopefully get to be at the finish line and witness me become part of the 1%.