"Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive."
As you may already know; my name is Ryan Cox. On August 24, 2019 I will be preparing for The Lost Lake Run for the seventh time. The Lost Lake Run is among Alaska's most popular races. It offers more than a grueling (yet beautiful) course and steep competition. From its beginning, Lost Lake has served as a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis; runners collect donations to support research for the genetic disorder. Though Cystic Fibrosis primarily affects the respiratory system, it also damages the pancreas, kidneys, liver, and intestines. No cure has yet been discovered.
As previously mentioned, this will be my seventh year running Lost Lake and my fifth year putting together a team consisting of my closest friends. Being a part of a team causes an individual to enter a race with a different mindset. It adds an indescribable type of excitement, bondage, and stoke before toeing the line. You aren’t just running for yourself; you’re suffering for your teammates. Last year my team raised just over $6,000.
Our team name is Team C.O.G which stands for “Conservation of Greatness”, it’s a theory that I find oddly applicable to my life. The theory states:
“A situation where a person has just done something earth shatteringly amazing and then immediately proceeds to attempt another amazing action. The second action has 1% chance of doubling the glory, and a 99% chance of failure, which includes a 50% chance of making the person look like an absolute fool.”
Doing something amazing is cool and all. But why settle for amazing when you can achieve something greater. Strive for the 1%.
I have Cystic Fibrosis, and I would be lying if I said it hasn’t affected me. Thankfully, I have been blessed with parents who have cared deeply about my health and well-being since the day I was born, putting it before anything else. Starting at a very young age my parents were sure to emphasize the importance of staying healthy. At the age of 29, it is still engraved in me. When I turned 13, my parents encouraged me to start running because they thought it would be good for my lungs. I’ve never looked back. After 16 years, including 8 seasons of high school and collegiate competitions, multiple marathons, and over fifteen thousand miles, I still lace up my shoes almost every day. Running is more than an effective treatment for my Cystic Fibrosis. Running is more than a habit. Running is a way of life for me, and every day that I hit the roads or the trails is truly a gift.
Those who know me well, know I can be a pretty stubborn individual. They also know I rarely, if ever, talk about my CF. As I tell people, it’s not that I won’t or don’t like talking about it, I just don’t see the need to bring it up on a regular basis. I believe that bringing it up constantly actually hurts the individual, making them soft. They are allowing Cystic Fibrosis to define them rather than allowing themselves to re-define what is possible with Cystic Fibrosis. If someone asks me about it I will gladly talk, but they’ll soon see my anything but ordinary view on the topic.
I feel like a lot of young people make the mistake of letting Cystic Fibrosis tie them down. Running has taught me that just because something affects you doesn’t mean it has to control you. I run because I can; I run to beat the odds. By donating today, you are helping the life of a young, or even unborn child. Donate so instead of saying “I have Cystic Fibrosis,” a child can say, “I had Cystic Fibrosis… and now I’m cured.”
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