If you didn't know it already, Rocky Mountain Brew Runs has partnered up with Colorado based non-profit Epic Experience for our 2015 Brew run series.
This amazing organization takes adults fighting cancer on memorable and thrilling outdoor adventures like white water kayaking, rock climbing and horseback riding. These experiences can literally be life-changing for these brave individuals as you will read below in a guest blog post from one of their campers who is also an amazing runner. Sure, we love our craft beer but it is always about something more. Make sure next time you take that first drink, cheers organizations like Epic Experience and all the athletes out there fighting for their lives.
"Cancer became a household term for me March 5, 2014 when I was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
efore that, I was working fulltime, going out with my friends, running 4-5 days a week….basically, living the dream. Now, I continue to do all those things, making adjustments as needed, but with a different goal - to keep doing until I can’t.
After I was diagnosed, all I thought about was cancer, why me, I’ve never smoked so why lung cancer, my life sucks, and more cancer. That was pretty much my focus until a social worker at the University of Colorado Cancer Center told me about Epic Experience. Epic Experience is a non-profit organization, which offers week-long outdoor experiences for cancer thrivers.
I went to camp in June 2014 and it changed my life. Epic pushed me beyond my self-imposed emotional and physical barriers, and allowed me to find that inner strength I needed to tackle my fears head on.
They also helped me deal with my apprehension around whitewater, which was well established years prior to my recent diagnosis! I was able to talk about my cancer with total strangers for the first time and I was able to get the support of fellow cancer thrivers to feel energized instead of sad. I was able to take back my life and not let cancer define me.
The one thing that stayed solid throughout this journey has been my running. I have been a runner for most of my life. I have run 24 hour relays, dozens of half marathons, 6 marathons and a handful of other races. After each race, I felt a sense of accomplishment no matter how heinous the run was. I have been able to push myself through some pretty tough race conditions, mental and emotional blocks and, each time, I knew that I was the one who got myself to the finish line and no one else did that for me. I liken my cancer to a marathon. If I think of running a marathon, it becomes too daunting, but if I can break it up into pieces, it becomes more manageable; 5K, 10K, half marathon, 15 miles, 20 miles and full marathon. Just like a marathon, if I think about my cancer, its treatments, the tests, etc., it becomes too daunting and unfathomable. But, if I break it down and just concentrate on doing my daily runs, finishing different treatments like they were races and making each day a “winning” day, I can manage anything and I will get to that finish line, hands in the air, knowing I just finished the race of my life!
“There will be a day when I can no longer run…..Today is not that day!”
Cancer is stupid, cancer sucks. Let's make something EPIC out of this fight and rage, rage against the dying of the light.
To learn more about Epic Experience please visit: Epicexperience.org