Breathe Deep. Run Hard. Rock CF. The mission of the Kicks Back program is to donate a pair of running shoes to any person living with Cystic Fibrosis. We also take the liberty of signing the recipient up for the race of their choice. Whether it be their first 5K or 20th marathon, we will help you Outrun CF.
In January 2007, I got it in my mind to take a run. I piled on two sweatshirts, a pair of sweatpants, and a winter hat. I confidently headed down my driveway for what I planned to be a two mile run and turned left. At the end of the driveway I was still keeping up a good clip and things were looking good. I made it all the way to the corner before things took a turn. I don’t know what made me think that with 50% lung function I was going to be the next Usain Bolt, but it became evident pretty quickly that was not going to be the case just yet.
I doubled over in a fit of coughs and tried to ignore the neighbors peeking out their window, as I contemplated just how over dressed I was. Though I was still close to home, and I could have easily turned back, I decided to try to walk to the next corner. I continued to alternate between running and walking for the next 20 minutes and only managed to cover about a mile, but it was a start, no matter how much coughing was involved.
Through our kicks back program, in partnership with RUNdetroit, we’ve been able to distribute nearly 600 pairs of shoes to children and adults living with CF and provide coaching and tips to get you started in running and help to make sure your first run goes a bit better than mine. Whether you’re on your tenth marathon or just getting started jogging to the mailbox, we want to get you in a new pair of kicks.
If you or someone you know has Cystic Fibrosis and would like to know more about the Kicks Back program, you can find the application here: letsrockcf.org/kicksback