This past week, I started ramping up my running milage for my next upcoming race: The Denver Rock and Roll Half Marathon. This will be my third half marathon on the books.
As I prepare for the race mentally, I’m realizing how freaking lucky I am to be able to run. For years, like a decade, I told myself I couldn’t run. In high school, I suffered a full patellar dislocation during a basketball game. (dislocated knee cap) It was quite painful and took a lot of therapy to ‘fix’. I often wonder if I had been at a proper fitness level while playing school sports, if it would have happened. Regardless, I used this as my excuse of why I couldn’t be a runner for a decade. I also used it when convenient. If something was too hard, it was obviously my knee issues. If something was too long, my knee would get swollen for sure……or would it? Let’s be serious: I WAS OVERWEIGHT. Half of the time it was the knee, half of the time it was me. As soon as I started strengthening my legs, my knee was never an issue. Even now when I have knee pain, it’s never from this old injury.
For a decade, I missed out on so many things because of the excuse I gave myself. As I prepare for my marathon, I am also fundraising for the first time. I have joined a team at my gym and have set a goal to raise $1000 in the next month, to donate to Augie’s Quest. Augie’s Quest is a foundation that is out to Cure ALS. Even though most people associate ALS with “the ice bucket challenge”, very few people know what ALS actually is.
I used to fear something like cancer because it’s the worst thing I can imagine happening. Now I fear ALS. Imagine being a runner and then one day you have trouble tying your shoes. Then next day you trip on a rock you thought for sure you had cleared. The next month your legs start feeling stiff every morning and you have to develop a new stretching you routine. Then you notice you can hardly get into the position to stretch. You’re legs start locking up on you as you run. Then one day, you trip so bad you’re injured. After the injury heals you’re disease has now robbed you of the ability to run at all. And then slowly, you can’t even walk. ALS slowly robs you, day by day, of your motor skills. Slowly you can’t walk, talk, dress yourself, feed yourself, wash yourself…….day by day. Then eventually, you die, frozen in time and space. This is my absolutely nightmare. The worst of it: ALS is cureable if only it had the funding to do so.
We can all help cure ALS. Can you donate just $5 to help me reach my goal? Can you help me help just one person get the medicine they need to walk a little bit longer? To hug their children? To smile?
We never know how lucky we are, until we aren’t. Help me help them. If you still aren’t convinced, listen to Anthony’s Story.