Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running For Those Who Can't.

I'm a little late this year on my annual "nothing is impossible challenge". In 2010 after I raced TransRockies (which I thought was impossible when I originally signed up), I challenged everyone to run this absolutely crazy marathon: the Powderface 42. Initially I had about 25 people sign up as part of the facebook group. And the day of the race there were 7 finishers that I could not have been more proud of, including my 56 year old father who I ran with for 8 hours through the mountains. You can read the post from last year. It was amazing. And for those who didn't make it to the race, I know that a lot of them started running or set new goals for themselves. And that is enough for me. I just want people to realize that sometimes you just have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and that more often than not, you will surprise yourself at what you are actually capable of. We tell ourselves stories and it becomes a pattern of "I can't". When in fact you CAN. So here is this year's challenge:

Blaine and Sarah Penny have a little boy, Evan, who is slightly older than my daughters Natalie and Jasmine. A few years ago Evan was a normal and healthy little boy. One day he complained of stomach pain, went into the hospital and came out a quadriplegic. He can no longer talk or eat. He has been diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease.


I didn't actually know Blaine or Sarah a few years ago and heard their story one day on CBC radio and I think because of how close Evan is in age to my girls, it really hit me hard. I couldn't imagine having something like this happen. Turns out, Blaine and Sarah are both ultrarunners (in fact Blaine won the 50 mile Canadian Championships last year despite going off course due to a flagging mishap) in Calgary and we know a lot of the same people, and their daughter now goes to the same school as Natalie and Jasmine. I have been so inspired by their story and their dedication to building awareness and raising money for research into Mitochondrial disease. They are tireless. And they have built incredible momentum. They were a huge force behind starting a non-profit "Mito Canada" and have rallied incredible support from the running, biking and skiing community, getting people to run for Team MitoCanada at any race they enter. They've got people all over the place "Running for those who can't." Blaine, Sarah, Evan and Julia, I'm sorry I haven't done more to support you.

So don't tell me you can't. Evan can't. You CAN.
And today is the day you are going to start.

I am calling you to the start line of either the Calgary or Ottawa marathon weekend on May 27, 2012. You can run a marathon, a 10k, a 5k or even a 2k. And there are kids races too! You can join the MitoCanada team and Run for Those Who Can't. Help Blaine and Sarah fundraise. Their goal is to raise $15,000 but if they get 200 people registered and each raises even $100 that's $20,000. I've got 250 people on my health coaching page alone, can I get 20 of you to sign up?

So whether you come to Calgary and run with me (I will be doing the half that day), or you get some friends together and sign up for a local race and have Blaine ship you a team Mito tshirt, let's all get behind this. You only have two months to train, I know. You should ideally have three. But you just have to get there and finish it. That's it. Just finish it. If you need help getting started there are lots of local running clubs, the Running Room clinics, or just step outside your door with a pair of running shoes. Grab a friend and do it together. Here is how to register and start fundraising for Team MitoCanada:

Please post your progress on my facebook page or through the MitoCanada facebook page or website or both, because it will help others to get inspired. Talk about how your training and fundraising is going.

Nothing is impossible. You just have to take that first step.

Power's On. Go!

You can watch the Running on Empty documentary here.

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