Twas a cool morning on the shores of the San Fransisco bay. The weather shifted between fog and rain so fluidly, it was difficult to tell which to call it. A group of about 40 runners and walkers gathered around under the awning of the Sports Basement adjacent to Presidio park, but despite the dreary conditions of this January morning, positive vibes permeated the air. This crowd was getting ready to run or walk across the Golden Gate bridge to raise money to help find a cure for crohn’s and colitis.
I was asked by the event coordinator to come say a few words and be the guest of honor at the event. I was thrilled to have this opportunity, but I’ve never done any formal public speaking, so naturally I was a little nervous. It’s one thing to have close friends or family tell you how inspiring you are(thanks mom!), but another to be faced with a crowd that all had some degree, either directly or by association, of experience with the illness that has so drastically changed my life. Somehow, speaking to a group with this level of insight felt more unnerving.
Thankfully, after an anxious 30 minute commute, I was greeted by this group of happy runners and walkers and all of my anxiety vanished! Once everyone had socialized for a bit, I spoke for about 2 minutes to everyone about why the event meant so much to me personally, and how thankful I was to see so many people showing their support on this less-than-ideal day for running.
Many of the runners and walkers that took part in the group were a part of the Team Challenge training group, which raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation through half marathon and triathlon training. I love the idea of the Team Challenge training group because it raises money for a great cause AND helps those who are raising the money achieve their fitness goals. Combining healthy lifestyle choices with helping others regain their health is win-win in my book, and in fact a large source of inspiration for what I hope to achieve in the future.
After I had finished speaking and we took a group photo, we all set out across San Francisco’s iconic bridge to complete the 10 kilometers of running or walking that had brought us there that morning. Despite the cold, rain, and wind, running across the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time on Saturday is an experience I will cherish. Thank you for having me, Team Challenge!
If you are interested in joining Team Challenge to raise money for a Crohns or Colitis cure, you can find information on the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America website, here: