Beth Scheppke and YIP

Start time:

16 November, 21:02


3,2 km, Järna, SE

We run for Järna

I grew up as a dancer, and I feel like both dancing and running share this place of creating something beautiful with the body, while spending zero resources, and without leaving any trace. Both running and dancing require a willingness to move and an urge to say something without words. As I run, or even as I walk or ride my bicycle, I like to dance a little bit, and feel the freedom it provides as I put these urges in motion. Imagine, if people just danced or ran or skipped or biked for 10 minutes a day, just how much happier we would be, and how much happier our planet would be. In Oregon (USA), where I’m from, running is rather popular, and there’s often a rigidity, and a certain seriousness to the running practices you observe. We’re home to the shoe company, Nike (you may have heard of it), and I had felt for a while that I was not built for the serious, and sometimes militaristic nature of the sport, along with the material aspect that surrounds it. It didn’t mesh with me. Out here in Ytterjarna, I’ve sort of created my own rules for running, using the beautiful nature trails as my track, and the murmuring of the cows and wildlife as my coach. I wear my hair down. I try to navigate through the paths at my own pace, dodging branches and hopping over families of slugs. It’s very exciting, never boring, and ever-changing with the shifts in the seasons. But with these changes, one thing that is changing too rapidly, is the rate at which the earth is heating up. The ‘Ecoleden Trail’ spanning 12 km, surrounds our village, and features breathtaking views of the baltic sea, passes through three biodynamic farms, connects children to their schools, and is home to thousands of plants and animals. It would make me tremendously sad to see these ecosystems compromised by the threats of climate change, and I try to run every day through part of the Ecoleden to stay with them. It sounds a little corny, but I really do believe that the wildlife and plants are doing sort of a dance, and it is cool to think about what it would be like if we all moved our bodies a bit more in order to keep them dancing. At the International Youth Initiative Program, or YIP, we spend a lot of time dancing, running, walking, jumping and playing, and it is a large facet of the lifestyle we have created for ourselves here. In these moments, we feel an insane amount of freedom and communion with each other, and with the earth. In Run For Your Life, we plan to contribute our leg of the race to the beauty of expression and moving our bodies, as well as the beauty of the Swedish countryside in Ytterjarna, which we are lucky enough to call our home.