Letter To The Editor: ‘Running For My Life’

By DELANEY RIEKE, President
Los Alamos Chapter of Hadassah
 
I hope by now most of you have seen fliers, received registration forms, or heard about the 5th Annual “Run for Her Life” April 19 at East Park.
 
There is nothing more therapeutic than going out on a run. Running clears my mind and frees my soul, but it wasn’t always like that for me. Not too long ago even the thought of jogging shorts and running shoes gave me panic attacks with flashbacks of a particular yelling gym teacher, a cramp in my side, and frantically searching for my inhaler.
 
I was one of those people who said, “If I am running, you better run too because the only reason I would run is if it were away from something.” All of that changed four years ago when I moved to Los Alamos with my husband and our three small children. Due to a combination of health issues and poor lifestyle choices, I found myself weighing 240 pounds at 5’7” inches tall. I could feel my body dying and I had to do something.
 
With a family history of diabetes and cancer, I knew it was only a matter of time for that to be my fate as well. But luckily for me we were in Los Alamos and everywhere I looked there were happy, active people living and loving their healthy lifestyle.
 
I am so thankful to be able to live in this amazing community with bike lanes, sidewalks, trails, and even our very own Co-op full of natural food! It all started with just one step, one step out my front door and practically falling onto the White Rock trail that now runs from Overlook Park to the Visitor Center. Clean air and sunshine had my whole family never wanting to be indoors.
 
I had the wonderful support of other active moms who would invite me out for walks and bike rides. I started walking with the kids to school every day and we completely changed our diet. We found that when we eat “real” food we feel full faster and have energy to spare. Within nine months I had lost 70 pounds and my husband lost 40. I had a second chance on life.
 
After listening to my friends talk about various running topics, I wondered if I could do it now that I had lost so much weight. So for the first time in 15 years, I took off on a run. That first time around the block I barely made it. I was gone 10 minutes and came back in the door gasping for breath. But then something amazing happened, it wasn’t horrible, it was actually fun!
 
I felt like a kid again, that I could do anything, conquer any mountain. So each day I ran longer, and longer, until one day I ran a full 5k without stopping. I may still be slower than molasses, but I know that with every step I take, that is one step away from diabetes, cancer and heart disease. So when I run, I am running for my life and I have a lot of living to do.
 
So please join the Los Alamos Chapter of Hadassah and the Atomic City Roadrunners for the 5th Annual “Run for Her Life” starting at 9 a.m., April 19 at East Park to benefit breast cancer research and treatment. Cost is $25 for pre-registrants. After April 15, and on race day the cost is $30. To download a registration form, visit www.atomicrunners.com and click on “Next Race.” If your business would like to be a sponsor on this year’s t-shirts, please contact me, Delaney, at 505.393.0011.
 
Walkers welcome! We would love to see you, it is for a great cause, and like we say at Hadassah, every step counts! If you are unable to join us, please consider a donation to Hadassah, P.O Box 26, Los Alamos NM 87544.
CSTsiteisloaded