It's heartbreaking to hear the stories of people encumbered by medical debt, or avoiding treatment due to the high costs of healthcare. This year I have decided to run the Maine Marathon on September 30, 2018 to raise funds and awareness for the Portland Community Free Clinic.
The PCFC --now in it's 25th consecutive year of operation-- is almost exclusively staffed by volunteer doctors, nurses, therapists, and nurse practitioners. On a shoestring budget, the clinic sees over 500 patients a year who are working and stably housed but without health insurance. Learn more about the PCFC on their website, and click here if you are inspired to donate any amount.
In many ways marathon training reminds me of the kind of 'slow medicine' often practiced at the Free Clinic. Doctors and nurses take time to listen and treat the whole person. The time and commitment it requires to successfully train for a marathon requires a similar commitment. It means I need to listen to my body and not overdo it.
The PCFC's volunteer docs and nurses show up for their once-a-month commitment reliably. Likewise, I must adhere to my training schedule, rain or shine, whether I'm at home or on the road.
I have found that the Nia Technique offers the perfect compliment to running: with its dynamic full range of motion moves, the low-impact and sustainable cardio, the focus on flexibility and agility, and the creativity I get to express at every cycle of the class.
We all know running can be stressful on the joints and repetitive as heck, that's why Nia is my saving grace when I am training for a marathon and am logging 5 runs per week, including one long run.
If you'd like to start running or connect with me on Map My Run (a free app that allows you to track all kinds of exercise) you can find me under my name, Erin Curren. If you need a running buddy, reach out! And if you feel inspired to give any amount of money in support of the Portland Community Free Clinic, please do!