Everyone has a reason for why they do the things they do - why they hike or run or swim or bike or whatever. Some reasons are more simplistic than others: "for my health" or "it's something I can do with my sister" or "to decompress" or whatever easily-defined unique reason there may be. Some are more complicated: "to face the void" or maybe even to slowly untangle the "why" itself. Some reasons are downright agony on your heartstrings.
I came across one of those heart-wrenching reasons recently. It was a post on Imgur by Yousef Abu-Salha, a UNC medical student. The post was titled "I run for my late sister, a victim of the Chapel Hill shooting of February 10, 2015." (Read it here: http://imgur.com/gallery/8mZD8)
I remember when the news broke late on February 20, 2015 that there had been a shooting in Chapel Hill. I remember the hurried headline on the local news radio, quick texts to UNC friends, and the flurry of updates on social media. I remember the shock when the details spread. It was dumb-founding. To this day I cannot articulate its impact: horror, disgust, and the deepest sadness and sympathy. Nothing can match the breadth and depth of it, even as an outsider looking in.
We look for those ties that connect us, no matter how small or invisible. Fellow Tar Heels. Fellow runners. Fellow Tar Heel 10 Milers. We can't forget the threads that bind, whether it's to the person down the street or halfway across the world. Please consider supporting Yousef and his Tar Heel 10 Miler fundraiser, because it's a truly worthy "why."