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From the Livable Communities Intern: A New Way to Run


This summer, I can add “running coach” to my resume. I love to run, and since attending graduate school, running has served a new purpose for me. It is my meditation, my break from studying, and the fastest way to get a good workout into my busy schedule. Training for races has been a large stabilizing function of my life and helped lay out attainable goals to work toward. Plus, it’s fun to do in groups!

I knew two things for sure when I moved to Des Moines for the summer: I wanted to contribute to some volunteer work, and I wanted to get involved in the running community. As luck would have it, I have been able to do both through a program called No Boundaries or “NoBo”.

A week and a half after I started my internship, a new running shop opened about a block away from the AARP office in Des Moines’ East Village and I became a NoBo mentor.  Twice a week, approximately thirty runners and walkers of all ages gather to train for Iowa Heart Foundation’s Run for your Life 5K that will take place in August. For many of the participants races are a new thing, and for some, so is running. It’s awesome to see different generations of people come together to try something new, and challenge themselves every week.

This may not have been what I had in mind when I considered joining the running community in Des Moines, but I think the program’s accessibility to all ages and fitness levels will contribute greatly to the vibrancy of this community as a whole. For more community programming and events, follow the Greater Des Moines Great Places for All Ages facebook page I help manage. Stay tuned for next week when I will talk about volunteering and community participation at the Des Moines Arts Festival.

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