Why I’m Inspired to Run

By: Shauna McCarthy, Manager of Government Relations for Advocate Health Care
Published on June 03, 2015

Shauna McCarthy

Being an associate at Advocate, I feel privileged to work with such amazing people and I strongly believe in our mission. All it takes is a visit to one of our hospitals, talking to our nurses or listening to a patient story to know you want to give back. That’s why I joined Advocate’s Inspired to Run charity team to run this year’s Chicago Marathon.

I played field hockey in high school and jogged a bit in college, but it wasn’t until I moved to D.C. after graduation that I found myself doing daily runs along the National Mall. That’s when I really became a runner. I wouldn’t say that running is something that came easy to me. It took time to love, but it is now part of who I am. Running is a great release from the daily grind and allows me to find perspective on things.

I never imagined I would tackle a full 26 miles, until I watched my sister and her husband cross the finish line at last year’s marathon. They were not runners, yet it was a goal they committed to accomplish together—and it was absolutely incredible and inspiring to watch them cross the finish line hand-in-hand. I knew it was something I was capable of, and I decided right then and there that I would run this year.

“Life is waiting for you right outside your comfort zone.” And it’s so true. The times in which you challenge or force yourself to get outside your comfort zone are the times in life you ultimately feel most alive—and the marathon is no different. It’s a goal that I never thought I would take on. This experience will challenge me physically, but also mentally like never before. But I am excited to soak it all up—the good, the bad and the ugly.

As part of the Inspired to Run team, I’m fundraising for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Center in honor of my best friend’s father, who passed away from cancer last year. My best friend and I are going to run the marathon together, and I know we are going to find strength knowing he is watching us the whole way. I look forward to crossing the finish line on October 11.

Learn more or join the Inspired to Run marathon team.