Run With Heart

IMG_5897.JPG

Last October I ran the Chicago Marathon with the American Heart Association in honor of my badass dad. Despite a heart attack, triple bypass, 4 stents (and endless tears from my sister, Mom and I), my dad remains one of the most resilient people I know. Time after time, he has built himself back up again, strengthening his heart and mind. It was truly an honor to run in honor of him, someone who inspires me to be a better person every day. 

After seeing my dad go through some horrible surgeries and watching his pained face, always on the verge of tears as he recovered (truthfully because the pain was so unbearable), I decided I would do all I could to try to prevent heart disease from affecting me. I have made it my mission to challenge myself physically each day, whether that's a 20 mile run or 20 minutes of meditation. While the food we eat impacts about 60% of our overall health, it is important to partake in at LEAST 30 minutes of physical activity a minimum of three times a week. Not only do I eat predominately organic fruits and vegetables, I work out almost every day, go to bed at 10 pm and make it a point to meditate at least 10 minutes per day (among many others :)). 

As I was training for the Chicago Marathon, I thought of my father and what he has endured. I thought about how if I could take away his heart disease, I would in a millisecond. Watching my father get knocked down repeatedly, riddled with illness, fueled me through marathon training, especially in the moments when I thought I couldn't do it.

Last year (quite close to the Chicago Marathon) I had an abductor injury on my left leg. It took me out of about four weeks of integral training leading up to the marathon in October. Honestly, I felt so helpless and there were moments when I felt like I wasn't going to be able to run. I had to keep reminding myself that I was running for my dad, not for myself and if I was slow or had to stop, then I would. My PT said that I was to walk through every water station, take my time and listen to my body. Fast forward to the day of the race. I was so excited and nervous before the race and I didn't know what to expect. I ended up running 26.2 mils STRAIGHT, without stopping (except once to go to the bathroom)!! It was truly a miracle and, to this day, I don't know what happened but everything clicked. My body just worked. Who knows, maybe it was pure adrenaline, but I felt weightless and incredible. 

It was a true honor to run my first marathon for my dad on behalf of the American Heart Association. I hope I inspired him to eat a little healthier, be more active and treat is body with the love and respect it deserves. It's not that he doesn't, but we can all certainly do better and be more conscious, especially as we get older. 

Now for Berlin...

Kendall Knysch