The first race I ever ran was a charity 5K to raise money for a young girl who had cancer. I had never raced before and I had no idea what to or what to expect. I was freezing, my stomach was making crazy noises, I had bad case of nervous bladder and I couldn’t stop thinking about what my time would be. As I was waiting at the start line, a guy’s T-shirt caught my eye. The saying on the back of his shirt said “Running…Every Step I Take Is For Someone Who Can’t”. After reading that, the race had a completely different meaning to me. My race was no longer about how nervous I was feeling or how cold that morning was or what my time would be, but it was about a little girl who should have been running and jumping and living a healthy life instead of being in a wheelchair. Hundreds of people where doing something that she couldn’t so we (and God) could help ensure that some day she could again!
That race was 6 years ago and every time I’m having a difficult run or I have NO motivation to put my running shoes on, that saying pops into my head. Why am I trying to find any excuse not to run when there are so many people out there who would give anything in the world to be able to run? Too many of us take our health and fitness for granted. We make up excuses why we can’t workout, but if our ability to exercise were taken away tomorrow, we’d spend the rest of our lives wishing we could. Our health and fitness is a gift that can be taken away in a heartbeat.
Every year I try to do as many fitness based charity events as I can BECAUSE I can. Last month I was able to be a part of an amazing event that made its debut in the great state of Wisconsin – THE MS MUD RUN. On September 11th my teammates –Skirts In The Dirt – and I had the opportunity to use our fitness ability help raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. We ran through countless mud bogs, jumped over fire, climbed cargo nets and survived 70+ obstacles on a challenging 6 mile course. I had mud in places that I didn’t even know existed and I was pushed WAY out of my comfort zone, but I also laughed so hard that my stomach hurt and made memories with some incredible girls that will last a life time. It was a great event that gave all of us an unbelievable workout and raised over $250,000 for the MS Society.
Fitness and exercise doesn’t have to be all about running on a treadmill or pumping iron in the weight room. Make it fun, exciting and do it for a good cause. Get friends together and run a 5K for The Special Olympics, walk the 3 Day for Breast Cancer Awareness, join the Relay for Life. Pick a charity and get moving for it! Not only will you be getting a great workout, but you will be sweating for a good cause & making some great memories.
“Our health always seems SO much more valuable after we lose it.” ~Unknown