Despite my Crohn’s disease, over the years I’ve been able to accomplish almost all of the personal and professional goals I’ve set for myself. Those goals have been — for the most part — non-physical, such as securing a promotion or starting a business. The one goal that has repeatedly eluded me, however, is to run in a major running event (such as a marathon or half marathon).
I’ve been unable to accomplish that goal because my Crohn’s has never been under control/in remission long enough for me to train fully and get into the shape necessary to run the marathon. Then this year I was presented with what may be the opportunity of a lifetime — to run in a half marathon and raise funds (and awareness) for Crohn’s disease.
In August, I was contacted by the Executive Director of our local chapter of CCFA (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America*) about serving as an “Honored Hero” for their new Team Challenge event. Team Challenge trains volunteers to run or walk a half marathon while helping the Foundation raise funds to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. As an Honored Hero, I wouldn’t be running, but rather would speak to the runners and walkers and (hopefully) serve as an inspiration to them as they went through their training. I was a little uncomfortable with the title “Honored Hero” since I don’t consider myself a hero simply for living with Crohn’s disease, but immediately agreed to participate and help in whatever way I can with the Team Challenge event.
After my first gig speaking to a room of potential runner recruits, I realized that Team Challenge actually could be my chance to finally achieve my long-stalled goal of myself running in a major event. Although I had surgery this past April for a bowel stricture, my Crohn’s seemed to be inactive for the moment and this seemed like the best time to train for and complete a run. Before the evening was out, I was alongside the other runners signing up as an active participant with CCFA’s Team Challenge.
I knew going into this event that it represented one of the toughest challenges of my life. But I’m intent on giving my all to achieve this goal.
Continued in Run for Your Life — Part 2
Would you like to receive periodic email updates about Kevin’s quest to participate in CCFA’s Team Challenge? Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You also can visit Kevin’s Team Challenge web page at: www.active.com/donate/MI08WISC/kevinabarnes
*The best source for information about Crohn’s disease is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, also known as CCFA. CCFA is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. CCFA recently opened an Information Resource Center that provides accurate, current, disease-related information to the public, health care professionals, and patients and their families. The CCFA Information Resource Center can be reached at: 888.694.8872. The CCFA website is www.ccfa.org.