Ali talks about the support systems in her life as she fights Crohn’s disease. These game changers have supported her along the way no matter what.
Ali talks about the game changers in her life as she fights Crohn’s disease. She first talks about her roommate who introduced her to running half marathons. She took her running at Central Park one night and that’s when it all started! The same day she signed up for her first marathon.
Ali and her roommate had decided to run a marathon with a training program that raises money for the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation, which made her first marathon so much more special. She was able to raise 20,000 dollars through her marathon alone for CCFA.
Ali used to prefer to run alone because of her symptoms of Crohn’s disease. She felt like she didn’t want to slow any running partner down if she suddenly had a flare-up. Her friend then introduced her to the November project which is a free fitness group that later became a great way to run and workout with a group of people twice a week. These were some of Ali’s game changers. They kept her coming back a year later to workout with a fun and loving community.
Having Crohn’s disease can take a huge toll on a relationship. Ali met Brian, her fiancé, four years ago, and she has had his support along the way no matter what. Having him as her training partner in life, at her sickest and healthiest, is something that is always in the back of her mind.
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Growing up, I was not a runner.
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I moved to New York City, and
the girl that I was living with, she and
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I especially hit it off.
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And she had all these medals on her wall.
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And I was like, those are shiny,
what are those, I want one.
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And she was like,
those are half-marathon medals.
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And I was like, what is half marathon?
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I knew nothing,
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I didn't have running shoes,
literally I had never been for a run.
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Eventually, my roommate took me to
Central Park one night for my first run.
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It was the best night ever.
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So we ran, it was dark out, and
we finished our run at the Met.
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That day, I signed up for
my first half marathon.
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My roommate was going to do it with me.
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We agreed that we were going to do
the Napa-to-Sonoma Half Marathon.
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And we were both going to raise money for
Team Challenge, which is the training
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program that raises money for
the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
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I did my first full marathon raising money
for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
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They set you up with a coach, you raise
money, and it's just so supportive and so
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And to me, it was so special to know that
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I wasn't just doing my first marathon
because I wanted to run a marathon.
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I was doing it for something so
much bigger than myself.
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I was able to raise $20,000
through my marathon alone for
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CCFA, so that was a donation
that felt pretty good to me.
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I've always been someone who liked working
out alone because of having Crohn's
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I never wanted to to
run with someone else.
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I never wanted to say, oh, I might
need to stop and use the bathroom, or,
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I don't want to slow you down,
or, I have to do this homework.
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I had a million excuses why I didn't
want to run with other people.
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And it wasn't until my friend
introduced me to this group,
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that it totally changed the game for me.
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So, November Project is
a free fitness group.
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It's in 21 different cities right
now in the US and in Canada.
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It was November Project that was
there when I was ready to join.
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I showed up, and I have showed up every,
just about every Wednesday and
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Friday since then, and
that was a year ago.
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We do a lot of running, push-ups,
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burpees, tricep dips,
all kinds of body weight exercises.
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And it's free, so
why wouldn't you at least try it?
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But it's the people that
kept me coming back, and
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the community there is just,
I've never seen anything like it.
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I call them my game changers.
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When I go there, I'm not the sick girl,
and that's what kept me coming back after
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the first workout, and it's kept me
coming back a year and a half later.
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Being sick takes a huge
toll on a relationship.
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I met Brian, who is now my fiance,
four years ago, and
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we have been together ever since.
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I remember him cooking me dinner one
night really early in the relationship.
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We're in like a one-bedroom apartment.
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There's not a lot of room for
mystery there, and
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I had to run off to the bathroom.
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And I'm sure he could hear whatever, but
didn't comment, and didn't questions, and
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was just kinda like, you okay,
can I get you anything?
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We've always been very open and
honest with each other.
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There's a totally open dialogue, and
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he is my greatest supporter with this
disease and my greatest advocate.
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Ali is one of the most light-hearted,
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bright spirits I've ever
met in my entire life.
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Living with someone who
has Crohn's disease is
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an interesting experience in itself.
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I would say it puts my life
in perspective very often.
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It's hard for me to watch her
have to deal with something that,
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as much as I think I can relate to,
I can't relate to at all.
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But it's also inspiring.
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Even when everything's against her,
she knows that there's gonna be a day,
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a moment, a time, an hour, a minute
when she gets to be the happy-go-lucky,
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free person that she is,
and she lives for that.
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She lives for those moments.
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Knowing that he is invested
in this with me is, it's huge.
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It's like having a training partner
in life, and that's something that,
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at my sickest and at my healthiest,
that I always have in the back of my mind.
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