Susan Walter believes in the healing power of food, and running allows her to eat more chocolate. An adjunct professor at Elmhurst College, Susan runs a small business helping visual artists with marketing and promotion, and in her spare time, she is developing a highly nutritious soup business for cancer patients.
Susan is running the Chicago Marathon with her friend Margaret Vimont, JCFS COO, and she credits Margaret for getting her involved in running races. They met at Tae Kwon Do, and Margaret convinced her to participate in a triathlon. They started running other races, and they have continued to run together, no matter the weather. The pair only cancels runs when it is negative 15 outside. They have run every prairie path or forest preserve in the North, Northwest, and South Suburbs of Chicago. Susan is running for Family Commons. As a mother of a son with Epilepsy, Susan values inclusive recreation options for the whole family which help build community. “My son can’t participate in a lot of things, finding common threads is really important for our family,” says Susan.
Like so many things in my life – it crept up on me and took hold. Running/sprint triathlons started out as a social activity with health benefits (–or perhaps a health activity with social benefits?) I find that as I pass each target with ease, the subsequent target gets bigger; 5Ks turn into 10Ks turn into 15Ks, …you get the picture.
What program are you running/walking for?
I am running, walking and moving forward for Family Commons.
How does JCFS Redefine What’s Possible? or Describe one moment when you knew that your work with JCFS made a difference in someone’s life?
I identify with the Family Commons program because includes the individual with the family and community in new activities and opportunities to explore.
What will you be thinking about at mile 20?
I have no idea. Much of the marathon writing describes mile 20 as a significant hurdle. I may have to distract myself with other runner’s demons to squelch my own and stay mindful of the strong people I depend upon to get me through the tough times.
What food will you hunt down after the race to replenish those 2600 calories?
Most likely it will involve dark chocolate in many forms.
What do you love about running/walking?
It cleanses, fortifies, prepares, alters, provides, and challenges. All good stuff.