For years I have been out on long training runs/bikes/swims and every time, without fail, I run through the same string of emotions. 1st - Bordom. 2nd - Physical Agony. 3rd - Inspiration. While I am never sure when bordom will set in or what part(s) of my body are going to hurt, I always know what my source of inspiration will be...my friend Janne Kouri and his story. I use Janne as my motivational muscle in EVERY workout. Janne has been a large part of the motor that has pushed me to do things I never thought were possible. I have even gone so far as to put his JK initials on every pair of shoes I have trained in. I have been drawing from Janne (without his knowledge) to get me through so many workouts for so long - now it's time that I start to pay him back.
Janne is a friend of mine from Hermosa Beach who, up until the summer of 2006, lived an extremely active life. That summer, Janne's life changed. While at the beach, Janne went into the ocean to cool off, standing in thigh high water, and dove into an oncoming wave. Something we have done 100 times before, only this time Janne ended up diving into an unseen sandbar and suffered a severe spinal cord injury and paralysis.
Janne was in the fortunate minority of spinal cord injury individuals who was able to recieve the most advanced care and ground breaking treatments available. Being the incredible individual he is, Janne made it his personal mission to make this treatment available to EVERYBODY. Janne is nothing short of amazing. His story was featured on Good Morning America (video link on this page).
Janne is the president and founder of NextStep Fitness, which is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide the very best fitness facilities designed specifically for the physically challenged at the most affordable cost. http://www.nextstepfitness.org/.
Please help me raise funds for NextStep. Your donation means a lot. Every dollar we raise makes a difference.
"Running for those who can't - yet!"
Video - "One Day at NextStep" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vEWvTQOX-4
Video - "Janne's first steps post accident" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSP28WE_WYY