Hello friends and family!!!
Thank you for taking the time to join me on this quest of raising awareness to help others build healthier lives and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Here is my why:
I have been a physical education teacher for 11 years and it has been my daily mission to make a difference in the lives of the students I teach, the colleagues I work with, and the student athletes I coach. I have always held the Jump Rope for Heart/Hoops for Heart event ever since I started teaching. Every year brings new goals of trying to reach more and more people with heart disease and this is no different. Now that it has become the Kids Heart Challenge it is truly about providing students with the knowledge to make a difference. To give them the tools to make positive choices in their lives and understand the risks they may face. It is about providing students an opportunity to belong to a running club or taking them showshoeing during the winter months. Nothing can replace the smile on an elementary aged students face who just donated their piggy bank money or decided they would rather spend their popcorn money to help others. Nothing can replace the thank yous and appreciation after leading a group of students from the start line to the finish line and share your passion. When you do something good for someone else it is empowering. It feels good.
I run for many reasons. I run because I can. I run to find the best version of myself. I run to test my emotional and physical limits. I run to inspire others. I run because time seems to stand still and this crazy world we live in pauses for a moment. I run because it is just me and the world in front of me. I am running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon for all these reasons but the most important is to help others who are not as fortunate and may not be able to physically complete 26.2 miles. I could have just entered the race and registered as an individual but for me it has become something bigger than that. I want to put my physical ability to use and take an active role to make positive change in this world no matter if it is big or small. That is why I decided apply for a charity entry through the American Heart Association. I want the people in my life, especially my two daughters, to understand and see first hand how helping others can truly make a difference in someone's life. No doubt everyone who is reading this has been affected by heart disease in some way and we all know how devasting it can be. Over the years I have used running as a way to keep my body and mind healthy and hopefully be a positive role model for those that I love and care about. There are many platforms that can be used to raise money and help others but there is something special about the running and the world of runners. If you are a runner, you know exactly what I'm talking about! Lastly, I want to dedicate this mission to all the people who have supported and encouraged me whether they know it or not (especially my wife Kasey, my daughters Ariana and Kamryn, my family and my friends both near and far) in my adventure because I could not do it without them. I am truly blessed.
"When your legs can't run anymore, run with your heart." -Unknown
Please consider donating to the American Heart Association on my behalf and continue to fund the reasearch, training and education needed to beat cardiovascular disease and stroke. Thank you for supporting me!!