we’re all pretty much running from something, right? a lot of marathoners seem to use distance running to stay a step ahead of substance use and other problems. runner’s world just profiled ultrarunner charlie engel, an ex-crack user who ran 4,500 miles through the sahara in 111 days. it takes major hellhounds on one’s trail to average 40 miles per day across a freaking desert.
the denver post similarly profiles the nonprofit activity inspired rehabilitation foundation, as they sponsored 40 first-time runners in the colorado colfax marathon. as a longtime distance runner, i take it on faith that marathons are good for the soul. i’ve thought about designing a randomized trial in which volunteers would be assigned to either a running support group or an alternative drug treatment comparison group, but i’m reluctant to test my faith — lest it be crushed against the rocks of a rigorous scientific analysis. nevertheless, i sent the AIR folks a donation and wish them all the best. from their site:
The AIR Foundation was founded in 2007 to help defeat homelessness and addiction in the community through programs that support and inspire rehabilitation through athletic accomplishment and a positive connection to the community. Its unique approach, called “activity inspired rehabilitation,” was an immediate success, increasing the success of rehabilitation programs by as much as 50%.
Today, The AIR Foundation works with homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers and youth outreach programs to provide a physical and goal setting component to rehabilitation. How does Activity Inspired Rehabilitation Work?
- Goal Setting helps participants stay focused on becoming healthy and productive members of the Denver community.
- Incremental Accomplishment through training and races builds self-esteem and self-confidence as program members create new identities.
- Professional Health and Fitness Training creates lasting change in the health and fitness levels of AIR members, building a foundation for a lifetime of health and self-sufficiency.
- Positive Connection With The Community changes the way members feel about themselves, allowing them to make a positive connection to the people around them and become role models for others in need.
i’m doing a marathon in madison this sunday, so my personal goal for the week is simple, if contradictory: eat a ton of pasta and stay reasonably healthy.