Do you ever think while running outside, on a treadmill, riding a bike, rollerblading, etc., about how lucky you are that you have the ability to perform that activity? Sometimes we even say “go do that for me” because we are too lazy to perform activities ourselves. Can you imagine wanting to go for a run and not being able to. Not being of time, work, or for lack of motivation, but because you were PHYSICALLY unable to?
Have you ever heard of the “Who I Run 4” program? It is a program where you sign up to dedicate your workouts to individuals that aren’t physically able to perform the activity themselves. They become your “Buddy”, someone you have never met, but will instantly start sharing a bond with. Here is how you can get involved:
- Join the Facebook group I Run For Michael at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/irunformichael
- Send a friend request to the matchmaker page so we can contact you to connect you with someone!!
- Fill out one of the two forms below to be matched
▪ If you are a runner and want to be matched with someone please CLICK HERE and fill out the form.
▪ If you would like for your special needs child/adult to be matched with a runner CLICK HERE and fill out the form.
- Wait PATIENTLY to be matched with your buddy!
Some of the members of the Warhawk Fitness Family (past and present) have already been matched with their Buddy and here is what the program means to them:
“I believe a lot times that I take for granted that I have the ability and the ease to do so much, such as working out. As someone who works in the fitness field, this organization opened my eyes to the number of people who may not have the physical ability to do what I do on a daily basis. By being matched with a buddy, you create a relationship with a family who helps educate and motivate you as well. My buddy has what is call CDKL5 and it is a chromosomal defect, which has left her unable to walk, and/or speak, and she also suffers from seizures. By being matched, I feel my workouts now have a greater purpose. Knowing that I have the physical capabilities to do something that she can not, makes me want to help her live the experience through me. Being matched has made me realize that there are days I may not want to do something, and I then think about the constant struggles she endures and that pushes me to get up and work harder for her.” –Stephanie Punda
“I think it’s great to be paired with my buddy, Harlum who is 9 and is diagnosed with a disability without a name, which affects him mentally and physically. It’s referred to as SWAN (syndrome without a name) disability. I think the most rewarding part is having him know that others out there look up to him for the way he deals with his everyday challenges that you and I take for granted. The constant reminder of how fortunate I am to be healthy and be independent is a great way to gather extra motivation for not only the gym, but with all aspects of life.” –Jared Ward
“I joined the IR4 movement because it’s a chance to be part of something bigger. Working out is something I love to do in order to better myself, and when I found it I can help others and give someone else strength through my workouts I realized it was a great fit! IR4 is a great organization that helps you create a unique bond with someone who you would not have met otherwise. Being a part of this, I hope to gain a broader perspective on life and appreciate what I have. Most importantly I hope to help my buddy work through whatever battles they are struggling with. It’s great to hear from them on good days, but when harder days do come I hope that my support goes a long way for them and their family.” –Renee Lenda
“The IRun4 program is a great opportunity for exercise enthusiasts to dedicate their work outs towards someone in need. Sometimes we take for granted the ability to work out, play sports, or even walk to class. IRun4 is a program that changes your perspective on exercise and in life. I was paired with a 3-year-old boy from the UK who has GDD, Autism, hypermobility, and is non-verbal. I get to communicate with his mother on a daily basis and see some of his struggles and greatest moments. At the beginning of this adventure, I thought I would be doing something good for another person, but didn’t realize the good it would be doing for me. I am truly inspired by Ethan and his family’s persistence and grace and I highly recommend anyone who runs or works out to think about signing up for a buddy.” –Julia DiMonte
Never take for granted the abilities that you have. Instead, dedicate your abilities to those that don’t have the same opportunities as you! Follow the steps above to begin the journey to being paired with your buddy. Not only will you be creating a healthier you, but also you will be making a difference in someone else’s life.
“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”