I want to tell you about Annie Hamilton. Annie is a fellow athlete and friend--albeit my youngest friend at age 13. We train at the same high performance and recovery facility known as Peak Wellness in Greenwich, CT. As it turns out, her sister trains at Combine Training, also in Greenwich, CT which is my triathlon, home-base gym . As an Ironman, I am in the constant cycle of repair and rebuild. Annie always is strength training. Annie has FA so she diligently trains for the preservation of her strength to walk and the use of all her motor functions. FA, Friedrich's Ataxia, is a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuromuscular disorder. It affects 5,000 patients in the U.S. and 15,000 globally.
In spite, of Annie's youth and very unique life, we share much in common. We both are firece competitors; we won't quit no matter how hard the training or the task to be accomplished may seem. We both giggle--a lot. We like to make fun of our trainiers--a lot...especially Doc. I think it helps us both relieve our stress and reminds us to enjoy our good moments and small truimphs as well as the wonderful people who support us.
Despite all of my bravado to the contrary, Annie is much stronger than I. My goals are short and voluntarily chosen: a couple of half ironman races and an ironman race (or two!) to cap off a season of hard training. Annie's goals are long-term and involuntary: she works every day for the rest of her life to hold on to her physical strength, despite the incontrovertible fact that her disease wants to strip her of any and all muscular strength and control.
So this season, I am dedicating my Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky to Annie. I will definitely call upon her fortitude and strength during those late miles on the bike and those last miles on the run when the body is begging for my good senses to end this nonsense. At those moments, I'll remember why I am there: not only for my short term goal of that day but for my friend Annie.
Here's where YOU come in: donate in support of IM For Annie. Donations will go directly to the Cure FA Foundation, the charitable organization founded by Annie's family and that has to date, raised $14,000,000 to fund scientific research, building scientific infrastructure for and educating the public about FA. Please visit the website at curefafoundation.org; its a wonderful organization that you'll be proud to support.
I thank you in advance for your support!
- Meridith Khattar
- Matt Chasin
- Michael Storm
- Kathiryn Werlinich
- Greg Werlinich
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