Before I go into the typical description and overview of Lost Lake, I’d like to address a topic that has raised questions in the past, my team name.
Team C.O.G 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”
My thoughts? Sure, you can always settle with doing something amazing...but why not try to achieve that 1%?
My name is Ryan Cox and on August 25, 2018 I will be competing in the Lost Lake Run just outside Seward, Alaska on which many Alaskans consider the most beautiful trail in the state. The course is 16 miles of spruce forest and open alpine area with a peak elevation near 2,100 feet. As with most alpine trails in Alaska, runners typically face stretches of overgrown vegetation, rocky descents, mud, and the probability of some combination of moose, bear, wind, rain, sleet, fog, or snow. Alaskan weather is constantly changing. The Lost Lake Run offers more than a grueling course and steep competition. From its beginning, Lost Lake has existed 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.
This will be my sixth year running Lost Lake and my fourth year putting together a team for Lost Lake. 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 $5,000.
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 28, 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 15 years and 8 seasons of high school and collegiate competitions, 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.”