Keep moving. It seems like a simple enough concept. But then we all experience daylight saving time in the autumn, and the darkness settles in so much earlier. The couch calls us and the bed invites long, lazy mornings. Suddenly, “keep moving” is a much more difficult concept. How do we keep moving when all we want to do is hibernate?

For me, the answer is COMMUNITY. When I know someone is waiting for me, it is easier to get out of bed, off the couch, away from the ice cream… and get dressed. Suddenly, it is not about “exercising.” It is not about another check on my to-do list. It is about being with my friends. It is about supporting them on days they need it and receiving help when I need it. It is about laughing at life’s insanity, sharing the burden, getting out stress and enjoying our bodies. It is about accomplishing what I never thought possible.

Whenever I think of community, I think of watching all of my Summer Safari full- and half-marathon runners challenge themselves to achieve what they may have thought was not possible. When they started the program this summer, many did not know anyone. But, by the end, they had created a community of runners that supported, cheered and helped each other. Together, as a community, we helped everyone achieve their individual goals.

On the day of the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon, I remember their joy as they finished their full- or half-marathons. But, most importantly, I remember their joy at seeing their friends finish. I remember those who finished their race only to run back to get their friends. I remember the signs and the cheers. I remember all of us crying at the end as we saw our friend cross the finish line after over six hours of running to achieve something he never thought possible. What a day!

Whenever I think of that day, I cannot help but be excited to start the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25k training. I am excited to keep moving with a community of runners. And by “runners,” I mean people who want to run. No experience necessary.

Do you want to run? Do you want to keep moving? Do you have a community? Do you have someone who will call/e-mail/text/Facebook you if you are not there for the run? Are you surrounded by people who motivate, inspire and love you through the difficult days? Do you have fun as you keep moving?

The most important question is this: Do you want a running community? If so, join us for the Fifth Third River Bank Run Training in Grand Rapids or Holland. Details can be found at

- Cortney Schaffer

Live in Kalamazoo? Check out the Borgess Run Camps!