From Cross Country to Across the Country: Week 5
Chronicling the journey of graduating senior Lauren Bates.
Lauren Bates is completing an internship this summer that will complete her degree in exercise science from SUNY Brockport. The two-sport student athlete (cross country and track and field) is serving as the trainer for a program, 4K for Cancer, that is running from San Francisco to Boston to support cancer research. Below are excerpts from the journal she's keeping to chronicle her journey. Bates agreed to share them with The Port.
Day 33 (Iowa City, IA to Caledonia, IL)
"Today was a long 16-mile day. We stayed at a teammate's friend's house. It was so nice to have home-cooked meals! We also re-decorated our vans to get ready for our day of running into Chicago tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to this next part of the run, because I get to run into places I've been before."
Team miles: 189
My miles: 16.5
Day 34 (Caledonia, IL to Chicago, IL)
"Today, I was partners with my best friend Avery. I was super excited to run with her. By mile six, we both felt like trash, but we used each other to keep pushing. Chicago is the biggest city we've been to, and it was challenging to run/drive through. We stayed at DePaul University, which was super nice."
Team miles: 94
My miles: 9
Day 35 (Chicago, IL)
"Today was my favorite service day so far. We went to the Wellness House. It made me so thankful for my education at Brockport, because my professors helped me to discover my dream of exercise oncology. The Wellness House gives patients fitness testing, group exercise classes, and plant-based nutrition classes for free. I saw my dream in real life today. It was like seeing into my future and knowing that running a center like this is possible for me."
Team miles: 0
My miles: 0
Day 36 (Chicago, IL to St. Joseph, MI)
"Today was awesome. I got to run by myself, because we ran in the Indiana Dunes State Park. It was so refreshing to get to run into the woods by myself. It reminded me of the time we ran in Letchworth at cross country preseason last August. I got to be alone and reflect on all the awesome places running has taken me."
Team miles: 104
My miles: 10
Day 37 (St. Joseph, MI to Kalamazoo, MI)
"The short day gave us extra time to explore this cute college town. I also thought a lot today about running away vs. running to. This summer has been a balance of running away from my young adult self to the adult I hope to become. Aging is the perfect balance between past, present, and future. Life happens along the way."
Team miles: 58
My miles: 6
Day 38 (Kalamazoo, MI to Defiance, OH)
"This morning, our dedication was for a girl named Hedda who passed away from brain cancer. Her favorite color was light blue, so her family sent us ribbon that color to wear in her honor. Then I tied mine to my bag to remember her this summer. We had a great potluck with the community and also saw Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."
Team miles: 102
My miles: 12
Day 39 (Defiance, OH to Lakeside Marblehead, OH)
"Today, I was in the host van with Avery. We had a rough day with donations but a wonderful day together. She is the exact person I needed to meet on this run. She always grounds me and helps me to reflect on the true importance of our journey. As much as we give those we serve, they also give us. I am so thankful for this summer."