Hello, my name is Steven Draper, thank you so much for visiting my website; I’m glad you’re here!
A little about me: I live in beautiful Vancouver, WA with my wife, three cats, and one guinea pig. I am a certified Road Runners Club of America level 1 coach as well as a certified USA Track and Field level 1 coach. I earned my Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from West Virginia University at Parkersburg in 2006 and my Masters of Education in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education in conjunction with Valparaiso University in 2018. I began my studies in Humane Education due to my compassion for my fellow humans, non-human animals, and the environment.
Origination of Solutionary Running: I came up with the term and brand Solutionary Running while writing my humane education-focused graduate school thesis. I derived the term "Solutionary Running" from Humane Education, a solution-based conceptual framework and practice of teaching that examines the interconnected problems related to the environment, humans, and non-human animals (Weil, 2016). The term "solutionary running" is used to describe solution-based practices runners partake in response to interconnected problems related to the environment, humans, and all other animals. These solutions can be driven by internal or external motives (or both). My passion for running, humane education, and working with others led me to create Solutionary Running.
How my running career began: I never had the desire, nor the motivation, to run until after moving to Boston in 2009. Seeing the Boston Marathon take place each year on Patriots' Day inspired me to start thinking about running, but at in very poor physical condition, I doubted my ability to run. After learning about the many interconnected problems all around me and learning that I could actually do something about them, I changed my lifestyle to a compassionate vegan lifestyle. My health had nothing to do with why I went vegan, but going vegan certainly put a spotlight on my health. I started feeling better, not just from the fact that I was living more compassionately, but I started feeling better health-wise. I started feeling so good, that I started walking regularly, then I started walking and stair climbing regularly, and then eventually after my physical condition improved, I started running and never looked back. My first run lasted for around 10 seconds, but after consistent hard work, I was able to gradually build my running volume to marathon distances and beyond.
What motivates me: I not only run because it is good for me mentally and physically, but I also run to solve problems by raising money and awareness for important humane education issues related to humans, the environment, and animals. Helping others, through coaching and service, to achieve their/your goals and solve problems is the icing on the cake for me. I grew up in an area where much poverty, food insecurity, and limited access to education and exercise programs for youth exist. My ultimate goal and motivation is to build reliable, quality programs for underprivileged youth athletes by raising money, through running services and donations. Today I am a marathoner and run nearly every day. The bottom line: what drives me to run is knowing I have the ability to make every mile count by putting each step toward good, problem-solving causes.
What motivates you? Would you run a 5k to raise money for a loved-one in need of a surgery they couldn’t afford? Perhaps you would run a 10k to raise awareness of a social injustice in your neighborhood or school? Or maybe you have no desire to run in an organized event and want to take up running to overcome an addiction?
We all have our own causes/purposes in life and these purposes are what fuel our runs. I can’t wait to meet you and learn your purpose.
In great gratitude and love,
Weil, Z. (2016). The world becomes what we teach: Educating a generation of solutionaries. Lantern Books.