To kick off Chicago Marathon Week, we caught up with Imerman Active teammate, Michael Wall, who not only runs for Imerman, but raises money as well. He was kind enough to answer some of our questions!
Q: Michael, how are you involved with Imerman Angels?
I am a member of the Imerman Active team, which is a group dedicated to individuals who participate in athletic events in support of Imerman Angels. Imerman Active participants work to raise money and increase awareness to benefit 1-on-1 cancer support through Imerman Angels.
Q: We feel very fortunate to have you on our Active Team. What inspired you to run and fundraise for us?
My family and loved ones have been hit pretty hard by cancer, some of whom were able to beat it and others, unfortunately, who were not. Those experiences and losses have stuck with me. They are why I chose to get involved with Imerman and what have been the driving force behind my training. The special characteristic of Imerman that has really made an impact on me is their focus on the person. All charities and organizations focused on treating and curing cancer are amazing in their own special ways, but the tangibility of the Imerman Angels is what makes it so special to me.
Q: How did you get involved in running? How long have you been a runner?
I started running early in life (The 7th Grade) but I was never a “runner” so to speak. For most of my life, running was a part of offseason preparation for upcoming sport seasons. As I got older, and as my days as an athlete disappeared, I discovered that I had developed a real enjoyment for running and today it is just as much a part of my physical health as it is my mental health. I often joke that it’s my “drug” in that no matter what may be going on in my life I can always put on my headphones and just go. Running often helps me to put life situations into perspective and I often see things more clearly. There just always seems to be something that I experience, or see, or a thought that comes to mind while running that helps me to gain perspective. It’s something I truly value.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about Sunday?
What I’m looking forward to most on Sunday is the experience. I’ve set a pretty lofty goal in that I’m trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which at this stage of my life will be a tough task. I’ve been really working hard to achieve that goal, but even if I come up short it will be the experience that I am looking forward to the most. Arguably the greatest distance runner of our nation’s history, Steve Prefontaine, once said that “the real purpose of running isn’t to win a race. It’s to test to the limits of the human heart.” I could not agree more! It is why I run, it’s why I’ll be running on Sunday, and it’s why I’m running for the Imerman Angels.
Special thanks to Michael for his contribution and all that he does for IA! We wish you the best of luck and will be at the marathon cheering you on!