Even though weekends are usually set aside for sleeping and making pancakes and even though it was still dark when my alarm woke me up, I did not regret my decision to participate in the Prevent Cancer Foundation 5k Walk/Run.
It was a simple decision for me to create a corporate team for the 5k. I think that it can be so easy to get lost in our day-to-day work and forget to look up and take in the bigger picture. My company, BLH Technologies, Inc., is a global health research and communications firm, but how many of us working in health promotion actually take care of ourselves? Running has become a hugely important aspect of taking care of my own health. Through running I feel like I grow stronger and re-center my thoughts, which allows me to be a better version of myself.
Some runners compete for time and distance, but to me running is about competition with myself – challenging myself and pushing myself to do better than I thought I could do, better than my last run. Even though running is often thought of as a solitary sport, I’ve found the running community to be very supportive and encouraging. Every time you put on your sneakers you’re connected to all of the other runners around you, all pushing themselves to work harder and be healthier. I wanted my team to have a chance to be a part of that, to “walk the walk” (or run) of promoting public health by making healthy changes in our own lives.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation 5k Walk/Run was the perfect opportunity for us to support an organization that is on the front lines of funding and raising awareness about health, specifically cancer, research. As a transplant to Alexandria, Virginia, I was excited to support a neighbor, and I was really drawn to the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s focus on education and outreach. While I love that the Foundation funds early-career scientists who are doing innovative work in cancer prevention, that research is only truly useful if it reaches cancer patients, their families and health care providers and the general public. That’s why I believe that outreach and education are so important – connecting people to information about cancer prevention is the best way to help them make proactive healthy decisions that can Stop Cancer Before It Starts!
I support any effort that encourages people to make healthy choices, whether that be to exercise or to have regular health screenings. The Prevent Cancer Foundation was a natural fit for me and my team, and the enthusiasm and positive energy surrounding the 5k were immediately apparent. It was the energy of a group of people who are passionate and dedicated to a single goal—early detection and prevention of cancer—and I was excited to be a part of it for 3.1 miles.