Most people who know me also know I run a little. O.K., maybe a lot. Last year I ran over 2400 miles. When I travel the first thing I usually do prior to leaving is map out a few places to run and speak with people in the area about the best places. In 2007 I ran in twelve states and in Canada. It must make me seem a bit compulsive, but that's me. What started as seeking a bit of exercise has morphed into a fund raising tool and an opportunity to reflect.

My typical run lasts about an hour. "So what are you thinking about all this time?", you may ask. Everything and anything is my answer. I compose e-mails, consider ways to balance my schedule, rehash my last conversation with someone (good or bad) and try to solve my problems. Having two sons affected by DMD makes many days a challenge and while I'm pounding asphalt I think of ways to help them and others going through this same journey. Some DMD related issues I consider are how to make traveling easier for the boys and me or Matthew wants to ride in a helicopter, how do I arrange this. Or, I read where someone is having trouble with their son's school concerning field trips and they need a viable plan to ensure their son is included without coming across as insane parents who threaten the school with suits and other unproductive tactics(Dealing with administrators is such a balancing act.). Other times I try to remember members of my family especially my brother who died almost twenty years ago and my father who died just last year. I think of vacations and episodes and antics that happened that make me smirk, grimace or just think.

Running gives me the freedom to do what I don't have time for during a typical day. Be alone with my thoughts. Being consumed by so much it is less a luxury than a necessity. Once I finish running I am usually physically tired, yet recharged for the rest of the day. Being as busy as we are it is easy to forget we need some unwind time. Running is how I recapture a little.

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Comment by Toalson Family on July 6, 2008 at 10:56pm

I am a runner also. I run around 25-28 miles per week. I too enjoy just getting away with my thoughts. When I get tired, I think of my son Alex who can't even turn over in bed. I try to imagine what it would be like to be him. I know my tired legs don't come close to what he feels on a daily basis. Can't even imagine how it might be to strain lifting a fork to my mouth. It makes me appreciate what I have. My Alex never complains about his disease. He takes it in stride - no pun intended. How lucky we are we can run?

Colleen Toalson, Nebraska

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