Team Resilience is comprised of all of the amazing athletes that have come together to support Erika’s Lighthouse in the mission to Get Depression Out of the Dark. Our team ranges from twenty to seventy-year-olds, first-time runners, to marathon experts. What do they all have in common? The desire to make a difference. We are so proud of our members we have decided to highlight many of them.

Browse our team highlights where several of our team members open up to talk about their reason for running and running for a cause. Find your inspiration to tackle your next big challenge or support a runner.

Is this your first Marathon?
Nope, This will be my 8th and 6th for Erika’s Lighthouse.

What inspired you to run?
A number of things! First and foremost, my early twenties were very challenging from a health perspective. I battled both Crohn’s Disease, while also struggling with intense anxiety and depression. In 2015, I kind of just got fed up with feeling sick and tired. I decided that:

  1.  I was going to run a marathon
  2.  I wanted to do it in support of a mental health organization. Erika’s Lighthouse was a perfect fit. My good friend from high school ran the Chicago Marathon the year before, and he inspired me to take on the challenge. Running the Chicago Marathon for Erika’s Lighthouse with Coach Mark at the helm was a transformative experience for me. I have been running for the organization ever since.

    What do you do in your free time?
    It depends on the day and the season! If it’s the summer, most of my free time is spent running 🙂 However, when things slow down during the winter from a training perspective, I like to read a good book or watch a thought-provoking documentary. I’m obsessed with non-fiction and my friends are always ribbing me for spending too much time contending with “reality.”

    If you could train anywhere in the world, where would it be?
    The grand National Parks of the USA.

    What’s your favorite pre-race snack?
    I try to keep it simple: a bowl of oatmeal, one banana, and a couple of tablespoons of almond butter.

    How do you de-stress?
    Run. Read. Mediate.

    Why did you choose to fundraise for Erika’s Lighthouse?
    I firmly believe that if we solve the mental health problem, then a lot of the other challenges confronting our world will also be addressed. The saying goes: hurt people hurt people. And I think the more we provide people, especially young people, avenues for healing trauma and cultivating mental wellness, the more we will heal our world. Erika’s Lighthouse is on the frontline of that work. Not only does their work change/save the lives of the young people they serve, but they are also an important player in healing our world. The real question is: how could I not?

    Who is in your support network?
    Oh goodness. Too many to name! I am very blessed to have two loving parents and three incredible siblings. I have also worked with some incredible doctors and therapists over the years to help me conquer Crohn’s Disease and depression.

    What’s one piece of advice you wish you received as a teenager?
    Heal defiantly. Dare to be countercultural to support your recovery. Know that things will get better. Know that you are loved profoundly.

    Who is your biggest cheerleader?
    That would be my mom. She is always front and center on the course.

    What is your go to music?
    Anything uplifting and emotionally provocative.

Check out this great video Johnny created a few years ago.

To support Johnny, click here.

 

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