I’m weak minded and have bad genes. But let me back up ...
For those of you who are not aware, one of our initiatives here at U2FP is organizing a team of runners and wheelers in the Chicago Marathon every year. This year, I’m joining Team U2FP - as a participant - to raise funds in support of our work.
If you’ve met me you’ll understand why I’ve been giving folks the opening disclaimer: I have the genes predisposed to raiding a 9th century Northern European village, wearing a bear skin while swinging an axe. My ancestors were not lithely bounding at high speed like a gazelle across a field of tall grass.
Understandably, I have no experience training for a marathon, and so have cast about looking for insight from my runner friends.
The best advice I’ve received is from my friend Joe, who before his C6/7 injury, ran multiple marathons. He told me that running is essentially a mind game. Once you’ve done enough to know you’re not gonna have a heart attack, it becomes more a matter of how much discomfort you’re willing to tolerate.
I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit while training these last several months - given that there’s a strong relationship between my genes and my degree of discomfort.
But I’ve also been thinking about this act of will in the context of our work to expedite curative therapies for SCI. And while an act of will might be enough for me and the members of Team U2FP to finish the marathon, it likely won't be sufficient for us to finish the race for Cures.
Our determination to finish is a good starting point, but it's our wits, our relationships and our willingness to work together that will get us to the finish line.
So, in that spirit please consider supporting our racers in the Chicago Marathon to help us continue this work.
Matthew Rodreick, Executive Director
P.S. - And if you're motivated to exercise your wits, consider joining us in Vancouver for our annual Science & Advocacy Symposium - coming up in just under 3 weeks! There are still a few spots left and we need every voice, from every facet of the SCI Community, to engage in this necessary fight for a cure.