Sophia Bush running to help the Gulf Sophia Bush of ‘One Tree Hill’ traveled to the Gulf to see the devastation of the recent oil spill and was moved to action by what she witnessed.

Now, the actress, who is involved with the fundraising site Crowdrise, will be running a half marathon in November to benefit the Gulf.

Below is a blog she recently posted about this experience:

So … running. When I think about running my brain turns into an athletic commercial. I see feet pounding the pavement in high tech sneakers. Dry fit gear comes to mind immediately. Vibrant colors, taught muscles, and music with great bass. I see beads of sweat forming along the runner’s brow. I envision fists pumping, chests heaving, and the sound of an elevated heart beat.

I do not, however, see my face on the athlete in my imagined montage. I don’t see myself running anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I have always fantasized that one day I would wake up changed. That I would sit up and suddenly think, ecstatically, “I want to go for a run!” There are people like that in the world, so it’s reasonable to think that I could somehow morph into one, but surprise, surprise I have not had that moment upon waking up. Ever. My thought process when my eyes open goes something like this. “I want a latte … with whole milk … and some Agave nectar! Mm-hmm. Oh! And I want to make a scallion, kale, feta, and egg frittata for breakfast. Yup. Heaven.” That may or may not be due to the Italian blood in my veins. Thus I think the next piece of information I am going to share with you might shock you all a little bit.

I am going to run a half marathon this November. Yup. Me. The asthmatic with a years-old knee injury, who hasn’t run a mile since Junior High. No seriously. Since Junior High, as in since I was 13 years old. For the record I am now 28, but thanks to the genes of my kick ass parents (I love you Mom and Dad!) I still get carded when I buy beer for BBQs at the grocery store. Yay for me!

Why would I do this to myself, you ask? Or is that me asking? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot since last Tuesday when I decided to do this. The ‘why’ is the Gulf. And it’s also you guys, really. I got the idea from the King of Crowdrise himself, Edward Norton, who ran the New York City marathon last year to raise money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, a charity that stole my heart many years ago and still has a firm grip on it. Now, I make no claim to be anywhere near as tough as Ed, but I am determined. And in bouncing creative fundraising ideas off of some pals at work in North Carolina, I mentioned Ed’s marathon, and my friend Jane said, “Well, you know there’s a half marathon here in November.” I promptly laughed in her face.

But then I stopped laughing and started to wonder. Could I run 13 miles? Would I make it? Would my lungs make it!? Would I be able to do this? I started to feel crazy and I started to feel scared. I mean, what if I told everyone I would run this race, and then I didn’t make it? What if I had to walk the end? What if I came in last? And then I told myself to go ahead and just shut up. “You wanna run scared?” I asked myself. “Well then you are RUNNING. THIS. RACE!” I strongly believe in doing things that scare you. I like to take jobs that I’m not sure I can pull off. I like to set goals for myself in order to beat them. And I like to confront my fears. Otherwise they take over your life. I confronted my fears about opening up to all of you, and look what’s happened! You have moved me with your love. You have shown me that none of us is alone. You all have proven to me that we can stand united, and we can change the world. All of our Little Voices have begun to add up, and we are making noise! People are taking notice. And people are changing their worlds. So with each and every one of you in mind, last Wednesday July 28th, I got on the treadmill and I ran a mile. And the next day I ran two miles. And on Friday I went to a spin class – no one warned me how hard that would be! — and on Sunday I ran three miles.

Now, these numbers may not seem like a feat to a lot of you. I’m sure many of you could run three miles with your eyes closed. But it is a feat for me. My whole life I have struggled with my ability to breathe. An asthma attack is terrifying. When your airways close and you cannot breathe, the panic that ensues is unlike any I have ever experienced. And when you’ve been debilitated by such attacks since childhood, you begin to avoid activities that trigger them. Don’t get me wrong, I have been blessed to have periods of extreme fitness in my life, where I have worked with wonderful trainers who have whipped my body into fighting shape — Hello, I wanted to do all my own stunts in The Hitcher! — but I have only ever done that for work. And I have never done it running. Because running scares me. Honestly. I have avoided it at all costs. I have substituted other things for it when I am on fitness kicks, and I have hidden my fear of it from many people. But I refuse to be scared anymore. Each and every one of you that has joined me in this movement, each of you that has reached out to me, has confronted some sort of fear. And we are winning. We are creating change. So I am determined to win. Not the race of course! But I am determined to win this battle with my own fear. I throw myself out of airplanes for fun, for goodness sakes! I should be able to pound the pavement! No matter how long it ends up taking me, I will run 13 miles come November.

So it begins. Week 2 of training has begun. And our group is growing. As of today we have about 12 runners, and as each day passes more and more people are joining up to run for the cause. We are all reaching out to our friends and our loved ones to sponsor us, and hopefully we will be able to raise some more funds for the people of the Gulf Coast. They need all the help they can get. So I am running. For the Gulf. For all of you. Because when my lungs start hurting, and when my legs start screaming “this running business is BULL, Sophia!” I think of all of YOU. I think of the letters I have read on Crowdrise detailing the way you are all newly inspired, and changing the way you interact with the planet. I think of Matt Petersen, head of Global Green, and my green warrior and inspiration. I think of my parents, who, my entire life, have told me that there is nothing I cannot achieve. I think of Beth Galante, of Global Green New Orleans, who stood next to us spouting legal intricacies, refusing to back down when we were threatened with arrest on the beaches of Grand Isle. I think of Elyssa G., a new friend from Crowdrise, who is starting to change her world at 16 years old, and who I know will do great things in life. I think of Heather, and each and every one of you, who made me that incredible video, saying something as simple as “thank you,” that made me weep with gratitude. I think of all of the love and appreciated and motivation that I am filled with each and every day when we trade letters, and facts, and tips for saving the world online! I think of you guys, and I know that I can do this. I can challenge myself for others when I am having a hard time challenging myself alone.

So over the next few weeks, expect a lot of information about our team and our training. I am going to work on video blogs for all of you, so you can meet the team members and our sponsors, you can see our runs, track our progress, and maybe even run with us, wherever you are! Imagine it. Hundreds, or even thousands of us, running all over the country, maybe all over the world! That would certainly show the powers that be that we will not back down. We will not be quiet. We will make our Little Voices heard!

Look out for my Run For the Gulf project on my Crowdrise page. It’s going to be awesome! And root for us guys. We’re going to need it!

Love, love, love, always.

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