If my family had a motto in modern English, it would be "We're Bains. We DO things." (There's a story behind this, and when I hit $5,000 I will share it with you.)
My race medals are in my living room where I can see them, to remind me that I can reach any goal I set for myself; to fully live my life I have to keep doing things. This year, the "thing" I will do is convince 1,000 of my friends to donate $11 to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease where the body attacks the sheaths that cover the nerves, and then the nerves themselves, causing scarring. This year I'm focusing on one big thing, SOOOO big it doesn't come with a medal: I am a Relay Runner for the MS Run the US 2015 Relay
What: The MS Run the US 2015 Relay is a 3,000 mile relay across the United States. While teaching others about Multiple Sclerosis, MS Run the US raises funds for research and ultimately (our goal) to CURE Multiple Sclerosis! The Relay begins in April in Los Angeles and ends in August in New York. The 2015 Relay team members each run an average of 160-170 miles over six consecutive days. Selected cities have a 5k fun run that anyone can join, and that 5k is part of the official relay route!
MS Run the US is a responsible fiduciary for donated funds. I'm very picky, and I will only work with groups that will be responsible with your donation. Approximately 20% of donations stay with MS Run the US (run by a very lean staff, with no plans to become gigantic--MS Run the US partners with larger organizations to distribute funds rather than re-create the wheel). Another 20% go to fund projects to help people living with MS right now. The remaining 60% funds cutting edge research to find a cure for MS.
Bio Overview: I practice law and yoga. (Some day, I hope to get one of them right.) This year, I'll also be running, and running A LOT. Despite the 31 half marathons I did in 2013, I still think of myself as just a "runner" (and not A Runner). Building up to the event's mileage is going to be a BIG challenge for me. When I don't think I have it in me to run more, or train hard enough, I will run for those who can't (MS can rob a person of control of their legs). While a few things I have as a result of my own hard work, I realize that I have almost everything else by chance, being born into the time and place and family I fell into. I am obligated to help those who--through no fault of their own--are not nearly as lucky.
When not working, teaching/practicing yoga, working out, blogging, or running, I have a variety of incredibly nerdy hobbies such as playing Magic The Gathering (a card game), and reading up on body maintenance protocols (e.g. Ready to Run by Kelly Starrett, MELT method, etc.). Mr. Potter, a 17-year-old Russian Blue from an Austin, TX shelter, supervises my training, acts as a paperweight, and otherwise wears the furry little pants in this household.
Hometown: Plymouth, MI
(I've also lived in State College, PA; Ann Arbor, MI; Burlington, VT; Austin, TX; and Portland, OR)
Segment: NEBRASKA, baby! June 15-21, 2014
Runner Story: Nellie E. Bird Elementary School participated in the annual MS Read-a-thon. I remember the kick-off event from First Grade vividly. The theme was about "solving the mystery of MS" and the assembly started with a costumed character of a bloodhound dressed up in a Sherlock Holmes style costume. We met a woman living with MS who used a mobility scooter (something I rarely saw in 1981) and told us about how her life changed since MS invited itself in. I remember thinking how frightening it would be to one day have your life turned upside down by being diagnosed with a disease without a cure, one with confusing symptoms everyone might experience from time to time, caused by a process you can't see.
According to the National MS Society, today approximately 2.3 million people live with MS. It's a much smaller number than, say, breast cancer, so while I vaguely recall hearing one of my elementary school classmates had a mom who they thought had MS, I didn't think MS really existed in my extended circles. One of the reasons I considered applying to join the MS Run the US team was to help spread knowledge of MS: it's not an automatic death sentence (like I thought it was in elementary school) and more treatments exist now BUT there is still NO CURE. It is possible to live a full, rich life while managing the symptoms of MS. Just one post to facebook showed me that my assumption (MS doesn't really exist in my circles) was wrong: two unrelated friends posted their moms have MS, and a third friend from a running group posted that she is living with MS. Someone close to you who is living with MS, and you don't even know it.
To learn more:
...about MS, visit the National MS Society at http://www.nationalmssociety.org
...about MS Run the US, visit facebook or http://www.msruntheus.com
...about me and read my training journal, visit http://www.TrainWithBain.com and join my email list, or follow me on twitter @TrainWithBain
My Fundraising Goal: I chose $11,000 as my goal because to reach it, I need 1,000 people to donate $11. First, for most people I know, that's not a lot of money: two trips to Starbucks, two round-trip BART tickets to San Francisco, one movie ticket (without the popcorn). Second, it means I get to talk to 1,000 people about MS.
Of course, if you want to donate more, please don't let me stop you! You could sponsor a whole day of running for $1,667 ($10,000 divided by 6), or a mile for $59, or really any amount you'd like to give we will gladly and thankfully accept.
(Please let me know if you are donating in honor or in memory of someone you know who lives with MS. I'd love to make them one of my MS heroes.)
Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts. If, however, you would rather donate by check, please send an email to Bain@TrainWithBain.com so I can tell you where to send your check (payable to "MS Run the US").
In addition to online fundraising, I will be raising funds via eBay auctions, as an independent Team BeachBody coach (100% of my income donated to MS run the US), and (once I get the right permission and all) Team Bain shirts.