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Ode to my Running Shoes

By Javier Huerta

SLC Sole Team

The running joke in our running group, the SLC Sole Team, is the pun on sole/soul. So I tell my solemates, “You must be tired because you’ve been running through my mind all day.” The SLC Sole Team is a response to the UC system budget crisis. In the face of budget cuts, the staff of the Student Learning Center at UC Berkeley has created the SLC Sole Team as a way to raise funds for the important services that the Student Learning Center provides to UC Berkeley undergraduates. We run. We raise. We rise. I found Rachel Zucker’s post on running extremely interesting because I, too, am in training for a half-marathon, the San Francisco Half-marathon on July 25.  I may have started training because I was concerned with not having enough “non-writing things” in my life. I write poetry. I study poetry. And in my free time, I read poetry.  So it’s good to get away from poetry, especially to the beautiful scenic running paths here in the SF Bay Area. Everyone should run across the Golden Gate Bridge at least once if they get the chance. It was amazing.

I started training for the half-marathon on my own, but I didn’t have any idea how to go about it. The SLC Sole Team has offered me guidance and support. I ran my first ten-mile run this past Saturday up and down the Berkeley Marina. All in all not bad for a 200+ lb 36 yr old poet. I probably wouldn’t have managed this without the help of the SLC Sole Team coaches, Rex, Alex, and Patrick, and the rest of my solemates.

But the most important aspect of the SLC Sole Team is that they run with a purpose.

“Budget Cuts, Increased Life Stressors and Pressures, and Disconnectedness… the economic downturn poses amazing challenges… on individuals and the SLC community…in fact, a long litany of despair can easily emerge. The SLC Sole Team Running Group forms to create a counter-litany: Community, Connectedness, Empowerment, Support, Budget Augmentations through fundraising, Health, Wellness, Strength, Courage, Commitment, Transformation. This litany of empowerment is at the core of the Student Learning Center. For close to 40 years, The Student Learning Center has always been a site of awesome support for undergraduates in their transition to meet the challenging demands and expectations of a research one institution, in their translation of the power of their intellect and talent to grow as scholars and leaders, and in their academic and personal transformations that lead them to continue the legacy of scholars and leaders that have come before them. As alumni and supporters of the UC Berkeley Student Learning Center, we form the SLC Sole Team, a running group that actively takes on the litany of challenges and transform the challenges into opportunities for empowerment.” (SLC Sole Team)

So if you would like to help us in transforming these challenges into opportunities, please donate to the Student Learning Center on my behalf.

And if you would like to follow the progress of this 200+ lb 36 yr old poet in his goal of running a half-marathon I invite you to keep up with our Saturday morning runs on the SLC Sole Team’s website. In the videos, I’m the one that’s twice as big as everyone else. I’m the one that’s running, thinking about the ode I’m going to write to my running shoes after I finish the SF half-marathon on July 25.

Can I get a Sole Clap!



Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, April 19th, 2010 by Javier Huerta.