I manage a country homestead and the lives of my 4 babies ages 10,8,5 and 3. I LOVE TO RUN and NEED to keep healthy and fit for my SANITY!! Seriously....All problems are solved when I am running.

Making MY health a priority allows me to be the mother and wife that I need to be for them.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Athlete Profile : Team Mito

My Marathon journey is featured on the Mito Canada web page. You can check it out here...

If not, here it is cut and pasted from the site....

As we begin the countdown to Ottawa Race Weekend May 26th and 27th, Team MitoCanada Ottawa is going to profile a few of our athletes who are running on behalf of MitoCanada. I’m pleased to introduce you to our first ‘athlete profile’, one of our Marathon athletes, Alyson McNish.
The picture is of me this winter. I chose this picture because as in life, training for a Marathon takes commitment, determination and a sense of humour when things get challenging

Name: Alyson McNish

Occupation: Mother of 4 children ages 9, 7, 4, and 2. I manage a 150 year old homestead while my husband works outside our home. We have just started our own organic farm, and we will eventually take over the family farm to become the 6th generation to farm this land.

Previous Running Experience: Although I’ve always been active and involved in many sports, I began running in University. I also figured that since my degree was in Kinesiology, I was a fitness trainer, and I was a medic in the military, I should put my knowledge to the test and set an example for my clients.

My first race was the Vancouver Sun Run 10k in 2003. From the moment I arrived at the starting line I was HOOKED. I loved the adrenalin and excitement, and was amazed at how the crowd carried me to the end. I surprised myself finishing the race in 55minutes that day after never running 10kms before that date. I realized that running was easy for me and perhaps with a little training I could be good. Running was also a great way for me to lose the baby weight after each child.
I enjoyed 5k’s, and after having the support of a running group, managed a personal best of 21:45.
My running journey however has not been easy. Since my first race, I’ve had 3 more children. In 2004 I was paralyzed from a tumor that was crushing my spinal cord, and I’ve been plagued with a knee injury. Each time, however I’ve just started over again. Running for me has so many parallels to life’s journey. We get knocked down, but never out. Sometimes while lying on the ground I can only manage to lift my head, look up and cry out. Other times I hop back up and keep running. Even after the doctor’s told me that I may never walk again, I laid there and realized that no matter what happened, everything would still be o.k. I still had a wonderful life, and would just have to adjust. I realized at that moment that there is no point in worrying about things that are beyond my control. I was in God’s hands. He has a plan for my life, and I will be just fine.

I’m positive that experience made me stronger and better able to handle life’s tough challenges. It also forced me to rely on other people and accept help when I need it. I’ve always been strong, but I learned that it is OK to lean on the people around me that love me and want to help.

Feeling strong in body, last year I decided to train for my first 1/2 Marathon. I wanted to push myself beyond my comfort level, and get one step closer to accomplish my dream of a marathon. At that time in my life, I also started listening to God’s voice in my heart a little more. I kept asking God to help me do something with my life that was beyond myself. I don’t want my life to be about me anymore. I was recovering from a year of severe post-partum depression and was searching for purpose in my life. I know that I was created for a purpose and I want Him to use my life to make a difference. I let go of trying to do things on my own and gave my life to God. I needed Him to use me the way I was, flaws included to make a difference. This goes along with the decision for my husband and me to take over the family farm. We know that God is going to give us all this land, and we have decided to be good stewards of it, and let him use it for something greater than ourselves. We are not only going to provide people with healthy organic food, but we are also going to renew the land, and build a group home for troubled teens on the property. Back to running… After asking God how He can use me right now, and use who I am and what I love to help others, he spoke to my heart. I decided that for every step I take training, I would like to do it for someone else. I ended up raising over $500 for World Hope Canada. My 1/2 Marathon journey challenged and surprised me in way I could never have imagined. It was a tough road getting there and I gained a new respect for the long distances. In the end I ran it in 2hrs and 1min.

This year, I want to do the same thing with my Marathon Journey. So for every km I will be running from January to May, I am trying to raise a dollar. That is why my goal is $1125.00. When my km is covered by someone else’s donation, I feel like they are also running along beside me.
Crossing the finish line in May for me will be more than just running 42kms. For me it will be an accumulation of so many things. I will have proved to myself that I can do anything if I put my mind to it and work at it. All the pain and sweat will be worth it. I actually have a saying that I repeat to myself when the journey is getting difficult and I don’t think I can go on. It is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Phil 4:13. I try to remember this in life as well as in running, and every trial makes me a better person.

Why I am running for Team Mito Canada: I’ve had 4 healthy children. When my childhood friend Sarah became pregnant with her first child I was pregnant with my 3rd. I kept telling her how amazing it was and how much I enjoyed having my babies. Unfortunately her experience proved to be so much more challenging than mine. I felt and feel so badly that she has had to go through the trials of mitochondrial disease with her son. There is nothing I can say or do that can fix things or change her situation. I also live too far to be able to help in anyway. Running for Team MitoCanada is my way of telling her how much I love her. Life is not about me anymore, and I have chosen to make every step for her. I like Team MitoCanada’s saying “Running for those who can’t”. I get that. I am grateful every day that God gave me back the use of my legs. I don’t want to waste the opportunity. I’m doing it for God. I’m doing it for Sarah. She has always supported me when my life was not looking great, and I want to support her.

Favorite Running Route: I run on long deserted country roads. The ones I love the most are when I am running with someone else, because life’s challenges are so much easier to handle with someone else by your side…don’t you think?


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