We could run.

Hello, I’m Andrei. I’m the new Events Planner at Howard Brown Health and I’m not a runner. Even after four marathons, dozens of half-marathons, and hundreds of miles of preparation – I still have no idea how to train properly, what to eat before the run, what to wear during the run, or why I keep doing this. However, one thing I know for sure – the run helps a lot! The tough run helps even more! It motivates you. It boosts your energy. It releases your stress. It helps you to keep going and not give up. It is a mental game with yourself. It is a lesson that teaches you how to overcome blocks in your mind.

One day, my friend from Russia came to Chicago to support her mom in the Chicago Bank of America Marathon. She brought me to the finish line at Grant Park that sunny, pleasantly warm October afternoon. What I saw that day changed my perspective forever. I saw thousands of runners crossing the finish line. Some of them were barely walking, some of them were physically broke, some of them cried. Despite of all the physical challenges, blistered feet and nausea – they all were happy and proud. Seeing the pride in their eyes was the eye-opening moment for me. Once I returned home, I signed up for my first race ever – my first half-marathon. A few months later, I signed up for my first marathon and that is how my running story began.

Running for yourself is perfect. Running for yourself and for a good cause – is a joy. AIDS Run & Walk Chicago is a run with an amazing cause. AIDS Run & Walk raises awareness and funds for the AIDS Foundation Chicago and 30 other CommunityDirect partners, with proceeds directly benefiting programs and services that improve the lives of Chicagoans living with and vulnerable to HIV. Howard Brown Health has been a proud CommunityDirect partner for many years. Howard Brown has raised funds help to provide HIV/AIDS services, prevention as well as education, and outreach to the LGBTQ Community. Being the Howard Brown team captain this year – is my pride and joy!

Yes, this year is different. This year has put us through things we have never experienced before. This year has taught us how to adjust and how to stay true to ourselves. This year taught us how to persist and resist. This year is not about postponing goals until better times. This year is the year of new beginnings. If you’ve never been a part of a team before – join ours today. If you’ve never run – run. If you’ve never raised money for a good cause – it’s time to start.

Join the Howard Brown Health Team: https://action.aidschicago.org/team/297130

If you have any questions, please reach out to me: andreia@howardbrown.org And at the end of the day – we all could run!

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