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Run With Your Personality
Charity translation: Remember the camaraderie and fundraising dollars
The middle miles are always the most fun — the calm before the storm, if you will. I love to front-run and pass people, and it took Mojacha’s persistence to even get me to grab water at every stop (a habit I’ve kept for every race since then). I tend to channel my inner “Pre” attitude and get a bit cocky around mile 6. However, while striding down Las Vegas Boulevard, I remembered a different person: the version of myself who timidly asked my closest friends and family for money to support my $5,000 journey to Las Vegas. I had overcome my darkest days with ulcerative colitis, and the flood of support I received was humbling. So, instead of the traditional “You got chick’d” mentality that usually swallows me whole as I’m passing others toward the middle of a PR pursuit, I simply smiled. I smiled for all of the fundraising events I attended, the dollars I brought in to fund my own cause and the people I recruited to do their own fundraising that same year.
For those living with IBD, it’s not immediately comfortable to announce that you use the restroom more than if you had a bad case of food poisoning. But after meeting hundreds of other IBDers, telling my story, and accepting my body for all of its limits and capabilities, I wanted to scream with joy and race with gratitude. I wanted the world to know that, yes, I have a disgusting disease, but it does not have me. And that was more powerful, more fulfilling than kicking dust toward my fellow competitors. It is the bravery of the patient that gets noticed, but it’s the spunk of the person that spreads awareness.