Why the Phoenix?

Why the Phoenix?

It took us a while to settle on a logo for the RUNegades. We sent e-mails back-and-forth with different artists and designers. We took a stab at it ourselves. Nothing seemed quite right. Then we got an e-mail with a collaboration by Amanda Burnham and Keith Kellner, and the rebelliously unconventional phoenix was born.

At first, I thought, “of course our logo should be a phoenix! We started in Phoenixville!” But as the miles have passed and the club has grown, and as I’ve gotten to know more and more runners, it’s become clear to me that the phoenix represents so much more than a town mascot. The phoenix—the mythical bird reborn in fire—represents each and every one of us, and tells the story of why we run.

We were injured, we were overweight, we were lonely. We were socially awkward, we were afraid, we were struggling with loss. We had lost our way. We were grieving, we were trying to forget. We were new to the area, newly divorced, newly diagnosed. And so, we ran—not away from our problems, but through them.

We ran hesitantly at first. It hurt. It ached. It burned. But there was something in that fire. And then we found others. And more people joined. And they felt the fire too.

It felt good.

Every mile became a challenge overcome, every run a victory to celebrate. And somehow, with the help of the trail and the encouragement of our friends, we had found ourselves again. We weren’t perfect, of course. We still hurt, and we still had our flaws. But we’d passed through the fire and come out the other side. Stronger and more confident. Reborn. Like the phoenix.

And with a faster 5K time.

So I, for one, will wear that defiant firebird proudly, as a celebration of all we’ve been through and in anticipation of the many miles ahead.

I hope you’ll join us.

Many thanks for reading, and much love to you all. This club has made every mile just that much more meaningful.