What Inspires You To Run?

Running, March 15, 2021

People run for all kinds of reasons. It could be losing weight, staying healthy, or running for a cause. Why do you run?

Running for a Cause

There are few people out there who run because they absolutely love it. Many of us love something about running, such as the feeling of accomplishment, the runners high, or the extra boost of energy it can give you post workout. But to love everything about it? Ask me in the middle of a long run and I may not answer favorably. This usually means we come up with ways to stay motivated to do it.

For many of us, this means signing up for our first 5k, half marathon, marathon or ultra. The raw excitement of the sudden “oh crap, what did I just do” can be extremely motivating. This usually keeps us going and ends in a successful race. Others find motivation from supporting great causes. Support for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and a virtual endless list of causes provide many people the motivation they need to get themselves out there. In addition to the motivation, it can be quite rewarding and can help draw attention to the cause. Win-win-win.

I was recently contacted by Marissa F. Cohen who finds herself with two motivations to run: she’s a first time runner who signed up for a marathon to support victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and military sexual harassment. As Marissa put it, “I immediately regretted it”, because of the fear of having absolutely no running experience or direction. 

Throughout her college years, Marissa was personally impacted by sexual assault and domestic violence. Her experiences have led her to become a resource for helping survivors heal and overcome their abuse and experiences, just as she did. It also led her to publish three best selling books on these topics. In January 2020, she launched a podcast called Healing From Emotional Abuse, where she hosts discussions with survivors to share their stories, and give advice.

In one episode, she was joined by 5 military veterans who spoke about their experience with military sexual trauma (MST). One of her guests spoke about how running was helpful to her healing and challenged Marissa to run the 2021 Chicago Marathon with her, supporting female veteran organizations and MST survivors. Without hesitation, she accepted the challenge. Enter the instant motivation. 

If you’re interested in joining Marissa on her “marathon for a cause” adventure, you can reach her directly at Me@MarissaFayeCohen.com, or visit www.marissafayecohen.com/donate to donate to TAPS -- the Tragedy Assistance Program for survivors that Marissa is running for (https://www.taps.org/mission). 


According to the DoD[i],  20,500 veterans and military service members are affected by military sexual trauma (MST) in 2018 alone. That’s an average of 56 soldiers per day. If you or someone you know is a survivor of MST, here are a couple great resources Marissa suggests: www.neveralonesoldiers.org, and www.ma22.org.

Marissa has also developed a program to help survivors of emotional abuse, narcissisum, domestic violence, or sexual assault called Healing From Emotional Abuse Philosophy™. For more information you can reach out to her directly by scheduling a call at www.ScheduleACallWithMarissa.com, or visiting www.marissafayecohen.com

Happy Training!

Dan Cuson

USAT Level 1 Coach


[i] Statistics from the 2016 – 2019 DoD SAPRO Reports and their appendices/annexes, unless otherwise noted. https://www.sapr.mil/reports