As autumn approached, fall marathon training cycles began for those runners targeting one of the season’s many prestigious road races. Over the years, Club Northwest has noticed an increase in participation among its athletes in road marathons, including those that take place in fall. In response, Club’s Vice President of Teams, Waqar Shaikh, and Team Manager, Mark Bloudek, launched a pilot program to assist fall marathon participants with race registration and travel expenses.
Communities and our participation therein come to form the crux of our identities, often defining and redefining our concept of self. And, so, from a very young age, we embark on a search for the intangible: that sense of belonging. For some, finding a community of like-minded individuals comes easily. For others, finding their tribe involves years of trial-and-error, heartbreak, intense highs, traumatic lows, and a labyrinth of self-discovery. My search falls squarely into the latter.
For Olympian and national champion high jumper Inika Mcpherson, taking pride in every aspect of her identity, including her identity as a queer woman of color, is a daily practice of self-love and celebration of life.
In preparation for this month’s On the Blog, I had the honor of interviewing Inika just before she headed to Des Moines, Iowa to compete in the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championship. Inika’s unbridled fierceness and vigor for life empower others to shine brightly.