Isaiah Godby’s Story
Isaiah Godby’s Story
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Growing up, I would have friends come over to the house, both in Portland and Davis. I would almost always show off the pictures of my dad meeting Gov/Pres Bill Clinton, when my dad ran across the country back in 1984/1985. I would feel so proud and admired him greatly every time I told the story and showed the picture of him shaking Clinton’s hand. More importantly, I felt proud that my dad ran across the United States for the people of Central America, and was trying to get our country to do the right thing for these, mostly very poor people.
But as I became a teenager, that feeling of admiration turned into jealousy. One day, I said to my dad, “Pops you know what? I kinda want to run across the country, too, one day.” He just looked at me and he said, “good, we’ll run it together.” The discussion we had that day was something we talked about as almost a dream and seemed so far from reality.
In my first year at Grant High School in Portland, OR, I played soccer and ran track. I loved any sport that involved running, except cross country. Little did I know what lay ahead of me. When I moved to Davis, I decided to join the football team. Throughout high school, I played five different sports: soccer, football, basketball, track & field and volleyball. Through all these sports, I developed a competitive nature. But never did I have any desire to run cross country.
It was probably around the beginning of my senior year when I was signing up for classes when I really started to think about “the question.” What do I want to be when I get older? Throughout my entire high school years, my mom would tell me I should be a doctor, just like your dad. She would tell me that I should be a Naturopathic Doctor. But if any of you know Hispanic mothers you would know that she was not asking me, she was telling me that I must. So, of course, by the time “the question” came back around to me, it had been drilled into me that that’s what I wanted to do and to be.
As my senior year progressed, I got more settled into the thought of becoming a Naturopathic Doctor and I became very interested in what Natural Medicine could do to help the lives of countless people. But as I looked around, other people were not on the same page as I was. This was very confusing and frustrating to me. So one day, my father (who has been an activist his whole life) and I were discussing what we could do to gain the awareness of Naturopathic Medicine and change the health care system.
The first thing we thought we had to do was to educate the unaware. But how was only a father and son going to educate an entire nation on its current health care system. It seemed almost ridiculous to even sit there and attempt to hypothesize about that. But then it occurred to us, now is the time to fulfill our promise to each other that we would run across the country to educate people that naturopathic medicine exists, and how it could transform the nation’s health – what we now call, “The Run.”
Throughout the last six months, I have been going to school, working at a Thai restaurant, training for the run, watching over my younger brother who lives with me in my Portland apartment, and trying to maintain a long distance relationship with friends, family and girlfriend. I know that I have probably let people down and have lost some close connections to family and friends. But, I also know that we have a chance to drastically change the lives of others and turn this nation’s health around. Even if this run can only turn five lives around (my brother, Jeremiah’s life has already been changed forever because of the inspiration of the run), it will still be worth it for anything that our family and those helping with the run have endured
This dream my father and I had growing up about running across the country one day has finally become a reality. But at the end, it is not about us, it is about our country. If change is going to come, change cannot wait for later, it cannot procrastinate; it has to come now. So, do not just sit there and read this, if you care about the health of the American people, go out and tell as many people as you know that our country needs your help. And remember, Naturopathic Medicine is not just an alternative, it’s a way of living a healthy and prosperous life.