I don’t enjoy running. Actually, I HATE running. I would much rather ride a bike, swim, or even simply walk if I had the choice. So when I signed up for the LVs Run, I asked myself why? Why sign up for something I dread doing? Why volunteer to have bi-weekly phone calls to plan for a run? Why fundraise? Because it’s not just a run.
Thirty-eight LVs spent the weekend at the Bedford Park community in the Bronx. We ran together and cheered each other on. We shared meals together. We strengthened our family. Yes, we call it the LVs Run weekend and there is a 5k and 10k involved, but it is much more than that. It is a time to reconnect with your fellow LVs and learn about their experience so far. It is a time to meet alumni and discover why they served as LVs in the past. It is a time to travel to a new place (for some LVs, it was their first time in NYC). It is a weekend filled with faith, service and community.
Faith, service and community: the three most important words associated with being an LV. These core values are always apparent during Lasallian events, especially during the run weekend.
Faith: During the run, I put a lot of faith in God. Praying with every breath I took that I would finish this race alive. I know what you are thinking, “Bridget, it was just a 5k.” Let me tell you again, I don’t like to run, ever. So I needed those prayers. However, this is not the only faith aspect of the weekend. When LVs come together, we always make time for prayer. Whether it be before meals, at Mass, or during physical activity, we make time to pray and thank God for the opportunities we have and the people in our lives.
Service: When you become a volunteer, the word “no” seems to escape your vocabulary. We all have our service assignments, but that is just never enough for our service enthused group. A few of us volunteered to form a committee where we had bi-weekly phone calls to plan the run weekend. At the run, LVs volunteered to give out food and water and cheer on the runners. LV Alums volunteered their time to cook for over 60 people! Even as a LV alumni, you still volunteer.
Community: It is difficult for me to describe to outsiders the type of community that is formed when you become an LV. It is a weird but amazing bond that only your cohort understands. Even though it had been three months since I had seen my fellow LVs, and in reality had only known some of them for ten days, there was no hesitation to hug, joke, laugh, and just talk with them. Lasallian Volunteers also always open their community to family and friends. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and friends joined us for a weekend together. A special shout out to my mom for traveling up to NYC and running her first 5k with me!
So, although we all traveled to run a 5k or 10k; to run our personal best time or just finish the race; our main reason to come together was for faith, service and community.
Bridget Kennedy is a second year LV serving at De La Salle Elementary at Blessed Sacrament in Memphis, TN. She is a graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.