Feature Friday- Why I'm So Passionate About Running for MS Run The US

Happy happy Friday! I hope everyone has some fantastic weekend plans coming up. I'm not exactly sure what we'll be doing yet, but we have talked about going skiing so maybe that will happen! I also have a 10 mile run and 1 mile run to get done, hoping to also do my 10-miler on the trails, but they're starting to get pretty snow packed so we will see. 


I was writing a short write-up of my story and why I'm so passionate about being able to run for MS Run The US and really wanted to share it with all of you! I've definitely touched on a few of these topics before, but never really expanded upon it. SO, here it goes. 

About my grandfather:

My grandfather worked at Saw Mills his entire life and retired from Bailey Manufacturing in 2001. I always remember visiting him at work and the smell of fresh-cut wood (still reminds me of him to this day)! I can hardly remember a time where he was sitting down (unless there was a tool in his hand), as he loved to work on his ample collection of Chevy trucks and Model "A" Fords. He was an extremely hard-worker and loved to spend time with our family. His hard work ethic is something that I have tried to mirror and can definitely attribute some of my stubbornness to him!

He would give anything to help others, which I hope to carry on his caring nature. I was still very young (~10 yrs old) when he was being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but I remember that he began to move slower and would have to spend more time sitting (very unusual for him). Our entire family looked up to him for advice and as a role model so it was difficult to see someone you love not being able to do everything they wanted to do. As the disease progressed, he transitioned into a wheelchair and eventually to the Fryeburg Health Care because we could no longer care for him, but his fight, love, and positive spirit never waned. I was always amazed to see how strong and resilient he was (even in the darkest moments of his MS).


Why I decided to run:

Because the route of the relay, I had known about MS Run The US for a few years (it passes through where I currently reside-Steamboat Springs) and looked into the application process a few times, but had always missed it (the application process starts in August, but the relay does not begin until April).

I remember marking on the calendar this year when the applications opened and it just so happened to open a week after my grandfather's passing. There was a bit of hesitation from me questioning whether I could tackle the 175 mile run over 6 days and fundraise the $10,000, but the timing and being able to honor my grandfather really pushed me to apply and ultimately accept.


How will I be able to push myself during tough times (either in training or during the race)?

I know that I will encounter many challenges throughout my training cycle and during my race, but when you see someone that you love suffer through a horribly debilitating disease like MS, it really makes your suffering seem insignificant. If he could approach each day with a smile, then that is my goal for this entire journey. He is, after all, the reason why I began running and continue to remain active today in memory of those who cannot. 

More of this story will be posted up on the Bridgton News and I'll be sure to link to that once it has been posted!

Have a wonderful weekend friends! I hope you get in some miles, hot cocoa, and time spent doing something you love with someone you love. 



Weekend plans- what are you up to?!?

How do you push yourself when training or racing becomes tough?