I am a teenager with a disability. I have tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in the brain, heart, lungs, and kidneys. My TSC is moderate, meaning I can go to regular schools, attend dances, and play sports, but I rely on special education teachers because it's hard for me to process complicated topics and questions, and my slow reaction time makes it difficult to play team sports and impossible to drive.
I started running because I wanted to be fit and make friends. My parents were my inspiration; they were always training for a race. At first I stuggled. But in 2009, I made the track and cross-country team in high school. When I run, everything is clear. I can go at my own pace, and I'm always moving forward. I never let anyone down; I finish in the middle of the pack.
Yes, I wish I was faster, but I don't run to win. Like most things in my life, if you judge me by my results, you aren't getting the entire picture. If there were never another race, I would still go out to run in the rain, up the hills, and down the streets.
Running has given me confidence unlike anything else. It defines me. Today I am 19 and my philosophy is Why walk when you can run?
Two years ago I ran my first half-marathon. For me, running isn't about the recognition - it's about how it makes me feel. Like a normal teenager.
Thank you, running.
- Casey Revman -
Runner's World Magazine (Dec. 2012)