By Carly Damman
Running, as in life, involves highs, lows, exhaustion, excitement, joy and grief. I started running during my sophomore year of college and could not have imagined how the sport of running would impact my health, my friendships and my will power.
As a Ronald McDonald House staff member, I’ve had the privilege of managing our charity running team, Team RMHC. Team RMHC participants train for a half or full marathon race while fundraising for the families staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. Not only that, but I’ve been involved in several races in the Columbus area representing the Ronald McDonald House as the charity beneficiary, including the Corporate Challenge 5k, the Color Run, the Hot Chocolate Run and the Red Shoe Run, just to name a few. Boy, how running has permeated every area of my life!
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Why does she keep talking about running? I hate running. Running has nothing to do with the Ronald McDonald House.”
But, oh, how you’ve been mistaken!
I run my race #forRMHC families and here’s how:
- Running is a journey similar to the journey of a family with a seriously-ill child.In running, you have days where you feel like quitting and days where you feel like superman. Similarly, a family with a seriously ill child experiences days of triumph and days of defeat. Doctors have good news; doctors don’t know what’s wrong.
- Both RMHC families and runners need to be mentally strong.
Running is almost more mental than physical. Especially when you’re down to those last couple miles. The Ronald McDonald House helps families stay mentally tough by offering them an oasis amidst a medical crisis.
- A family of a seriously-ill child needs the right equipment, much like a runner.
The Ronald McDonald House provides a safe, comfortable, stress-free place for families to cope from their medical situation. Runners need the right shoes, a training program and one another to make it to the finish line!
- Runners love food and so do our RMHC families.
After a long training run, all you can think about is what you’re going to devour when you get home. After a long day at the hospital, all a family can think about is getting back to the Ronald McDonald House for a delicious meal and a warm brownie! Food provides fuel for a runner and comfort for an RMHC family.
- Both runners and RMHC families alike are surrounded by love.
I, personally, would have never completed my first two half marathons without the love and support of my friends, family and running buddies. RMHC families find the power of love every day at the Ronald McDonald House through volunteers, staff and other families experiencing a similar situation.
Countless hours in the hospital waiting room…
A year in and out of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Columbus Ronald McDonald House….
We are all running a race. A race we will finish through all the tears, setbacks, laughs and successes that life brings.