Being in each other’s shoes: Compassion, at a minimum.

Note #1:  This blog post contains no nutrition content.
Note #2: I may be slightly sappy.

Sometimes our lives become enriched by people we barely know or by people from different backgrounds than our own.  Our paths cross and if we are lucky, we are forever changed by that experience.

A weekend experience in October was one that changed me. It wasn’t one specific moment or person. It was every person I met, every story I heard, and how I reflected on my own life. 

I had been invited to give a nutrition presentation on Metabolic Efficiency Training at this year’s Ambassador Retreat for the non-profit organization, Runwell.  Although I was familiar with this company and have been fortunate to previously spend time with the founder, Linda Quirk, I had no idea the impact this weekend would have upon me. If you are unfamiliar with Runwell, the vision of this company is:

To shift the worldview of addiction and the perception of those afflicted from one of disgrace to one of acceptance and hope. Through the positive effects of sport, Runwell will provide opportunities, enabling individuals to accomplish endeavors beyond their perceived limits.

Runwell’s mission is: to provide access to alcohol and drug treatment programs through financial scholarships. We also engage individuals in exercise to foster a healthy lifestyle, provide a continuum of care for those in active recovery, and to bring people together in a positive way that helps to break down the negative perceptions of those struggling with addiction.

In a quick nutshell and to be completely honest, I learned so much about a disease I did not fully respect. It is not easy to admit, but I bet many of us have misjudgments and don’t care to open their minds to any disease not present in our own lives.

Learning about the stigma of drug and alcohol addiction from the Runwell Ambassadors and a separate rally on Capitol Hill was life-changing and helped me to put my current ‘problems’ in perspective. Hearing first-hand the personal journeys was incredible. Seeing how a non-profit such as Runwell is helping individuals dealing with addiction get into a treatment center, and then eventually enable them to turn to walking or running as a complementary therapy and a more healthful way of living was a downright joy. Hearing passion from the Ambassadors about how good life is and their overwhelming sense of gratitude are moments sealed in my heart.

What I’m asking

It’s been a long while since I’ve done any personal fundraising.  The last time was in memory of my Dad and to support cancer research.  From this recent experience, I have decided to raise some funds for Runwell, to participate in a 50K trail run to honor those who are in addiction recovery, and to honor my new friends from Runwell.

Although my personal connection may be different than my previous fundraising efforts, the feeling of compassion is similar.   So, no matter whether you have been “in the shoes” of addiction or what lies behind it, most of you can relate to the story of sharing some compassion and helping others to get to a better place.

Thank you for considering a donation: