I started running almost 10 years ago, as a dare. I was 230 pounds and smoking 40 cigarettes a day. I was incredibly unhappy with myself, and I took the challenge from a friend to run 800 metres. It was bloody hard work, but eventually I did it! Fast forward to now, with countless half marathons, 2 marathons, 1 half ironman, and thousands of miles behind my two feet.... Running changed my life, it changed my attitude and helped me realize what I was capable of. Several years ago, after the suicide of a friend, and the attempted suicides of some people very close to me within a few month, I got involved with the Canadian Mental Health Association. I take every opportunity I can to help this organization, through fundraising, and volunteering on the Planning Committee for Ride Don't Hide, becuase they help so many people. I can see the direct results of the money raised through the hard work of office staff, field staff, volunteers, and the programs offered.
Last year I was in a car accident which has severly impacted my ability to exercise. I'm in constant pain, which makes getting out for a run very difficult. The good news is that I can still run! I'm slow, but I keep getting to the finish line of the events I enter. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with depression which has been brought on by the contant pain, and which amplifies the pain I'm in. This is the first time I'm mentioning this publicly.... I consider myself very fortunate that, since the doctor has talked to me about my depression, I've been able to manage it through running. I've managed to push through the pain and have been challenging myself to run every day. Whether it's 2kms of 10kms, rain, snow, or shine, I get outside every day, and I'm feeling amazing.
So many people aren't so fortunate, to be able to manage their mental health issues with exercise alone and for this reason, I'm asking for your help to raise money to help fund their programs. Please consider a donation to The Canadian Mental Health Association through RUN4HOPE.
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