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.
00:00.000 --> 00:05.421
00:05.421 --> 00:07.546
Growing up, I was not a runner.
00:07.546 --> 00:11.372
I moved to New York City, and
the girl that I was living with, she and
00:11.372 --> 00:12.796
I especially hit it off.
00:12.796 --> 00:15.010
And she had all these medals on her wall.
00:15.010 --> 00:18.760
And I was like, those are shiny,
what are those, I want one.
00:18.760 --> 00:21.280
And she was like,
those are half-marathon medals.
00:21.280 --> 00:22.629
And I was like, what is half marathon?
00:22.629 --> 00:32.337
00:32.337 --> 00:33.233
I knew nothing,
00:33.233 --> 00:36.890
I didn't have running shoes,
literally I had never been for a run.
00:36.890 --> 00:40.540
Eventually, my roommate took me to
Central Park one night for my first run.
00:40.540 --> 00:43.130
It was the best night ever.
00:43.130 --> 00:47.400
So we ran, it was dark out, and
we finished our run at the Met.
00:47.400 --> 00:50.500
That day, I signed up for
my first half marathon.
00:50.500 --> 00:52.990
My roommate was going to do it with me.
00:52.990 --> 00:56.750
We agreed that we were going to do
the Napa-to-Sonoma Half Marathon.
00:56.750 --> 01:00.790
And we were both going to raise money for
Team Challenge, which is the training
01:00.790 --> 01:04.180
program that raises money for
the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
01:04.180 --> 01:09.410
I did my first full marathon raising money
for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation.
01:09.410 --> 01:13.820
They set you up with a coach, you raise
money, and it's just so supportive and so
01:13.820 --> 01:14.880
01:14.880 --> 01:17.300
And to me, it was so special to know that
01:17.300 --> 01:20.570
I wasn't just doing my first marathon
because I wanted to run a marathon.
01:20.570 --> 01:23.130
I was doing it for something so
much bigger than myself.
01:23.130 --> 01:28.531
I was able to raise $20,000
through my marathon alone for
01:28.531 --> 01:33.338
CCFA, so that was a donation
that felt pretty good to me.
01:33.338 --> 01:35.879
01:35.879 --> 01:40.313
I've always been someone who liked working
out alone because of having Crohn's
01:40.313 --> 01:40.920
01:40.920 --> 01:43.050
I never wanted to to
run with someone else.
01:43.050 --> 01:46.170
I never wanted to say, oh, I might
need to stop and use the bathroom, or,
01:46.170 --> 01:48.720
I don't want to slow you down,
or, I have to do this homework.
01:48.720 --> 01:53.000
I had a million excuses why I didn't
want to run with other people.
01:53.000 --> 01:56.710
And it wasn't until my friend
introduced me to this group,
01:56.710 --> 02:00.700
that it totally changed the game for me.
02:00.700 --> 02:04.120
So, November Project is
a free fitness group.
02:04.120 --> 02:08.087
It's in 21 different cities right
now in the US and in Canada.
02:08.087 --> 02:12.480
It was November Project that was
there when I was ready to join.
02:12.480 --> 02:16.145
I showed up, and I have showed up every,
just about every Wednesday and
02:16.145 --> 02:18.225
Friday since then, and
that was a year ago.
02:19.225 --> 02:20.685
We do a lot of running, push-ups,
02:20.685 --> 02:24.855
burpees, tricep dips,
all kinds of body weight exercises.
02:24.855 --> 02:28.315
And it's free, so
why wouldn't you at least try it?
02:28.315 --> 02:30.595
But it's the people that
kept me coming back, and
02:30.595 --> 02:34.560
the community there is just,
I've never seen anything like it.
02:34.560 --> 02:36.880
I call them my game changers.
02:36.880 --> 02:40.880
When I go there, I'm not the sick girl,
and that's what kept me coming back after
02:40.880 --> 02:44.260
the first workout, and it's kept me
coming back a year and a half later.
02:46.990 --> 02:50.080
Being sick takes a huge
toll on a relationship.
02:51.790 --> 02:54.876
I met Brian, who is now my fiance,
four years ago, and
02:54.876 --> 02:56.837
we have been together ever since.
02:56.837 --> 02:58.962
02:58.962 --> 03:02.460
I remember him cooking me dinner one
night really early in the relationship.
03:02.460 --> 03:04.035
We're in like a one-bedroom apartment.
03:04.035 --> 03:06.250
There's not a lot of room for
mystery there, and
03:06.250 --> 03:07.780
I had to run off to the bathroom.
03:07.780 --> 03:12.263
And I'm sure he could hear whatever, but
didn't comment, and didn't questions, and
03:12.263 --> 03:15.620
was just kinda like, you okay,
can I get you anything?
03:15.620 --> 03:18.421
We've always been very open and
honest with each other.
03:18.421 --> 03:20.932
There's a totally open dialogue, and
03:20.932 --> 03:25.587
he is my greatest supporter with this
disease and my greatest advocate.
03:25.587 --> 03:31.767
Ali is one of the most light-hearted,
03:31.767 --> 03:37.690
bright spirits I've ever
met in my entire life.
03:37.690 --> 03:41.610
Living with someone who
has Crohn's disease is
03:41.610 --> 03:43.760
an interesting experience in itself.
03:43.760 --> 03:47.610
I would say it puts my life
in perspective very often.
03:48.770 --> 03:54.029
It's hard for me to watch her
have to deal with something that,
03:54.029 --> 03:59.004
as much as I think I can relate to,
I can't relate to at all.
03:59.004 --> 04:00.797
But it's also inspiring.
04:00.797 --> 04:06.121
Even when everything's against her,
she knows that there's gonna be a day,
04:06.121 --> 04:11.524
a moment, a time, an hour, a minute
when she gets to be the happy-go-lucky,
04:11.524 --> 04:15.040
free person that she is,
and she lives for that.
04:15.040 --> 04:16.340
She lives for those moments.
04:17.380 --> 04:23.379
Knowing that he is invested
in this with me is, it's huge.
04:23.379 --> 04:27.956
It's like having a training partner
in life, and that's something that,
04:27.956 --> 04:32.546
at my sickest and at my healthiest,
that I always have in the back of my mind.
04:32.546 --> 04:36.439