Running Groups, Exponent II and Safe Spaces

emily-twibbonI have a special group of friends I run with at 5:30 am most mornings. We’re an eclectic bunch…a couple post-Mormons, a Mormon feminist (me), a couple of converts, and a True Believing Mormon (TBM). We’re across the political spectrum as well, but our love (or hatred–depending on the day) of running and our need for that early morning therapy binds us. We’ve seen each other through difficult times in our marriages and our faiths. We puzzle over things we see in our community…at church, at school, at the grocery store.

Maybe it’s the early hour, maybe it’s the physical work of pushing ourselves to run, but we can talk about anything that troubles us, and even though we don’t always agree, we are always supportive.

So, the day after the election this year, when my Republican friend said, “People keep saying Trump supporters are racist, but I’m not racist.” I said, “That’s bulls***. We’re all racists.” (If you know how conflict-adverse I am, that exchange will tell you everything about how close I am to these women.)

I usually give them a jar of salsa for Christmas, but this year, with the subscription drive, I’m giving each of them a subscription to Exponent II. This is the wonderful thing about Exponent II. Because this magazine tells the stories of Mormon women across the spectrum of belief, there’s something that will appeal to someone with a Mormon background and the most devout TBM in every issue. Reading Exponent II and looking at the art fills my soul.

At a time when polarization seems to be the norm, I’m grateful for my running group and for Exponent II that create spaces for both disagreement and love in the way that I believe Christ would have us emulate.

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EmilyCC

EmilyCC works for a national non-profit and lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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