Hi folks! I’m Carrie Kellenberger, and I’m Team Captain of The Walking Spondies in Taiwan. We’re an international team comprised of walkers from Canada, the US, the UK, Taiwan, and Australia.
We held our first official Walk Your AS Off/WalkASOne event on Thursday, April 16th at CKS Memorial Hall in Taipei. This was also our first organized team walk, and we chose to host a night walk at the suggestion of one of our team runners, David Mitchell.
Thank you for the fantastic idea, David, and thank you for getting there early to track the time and distance.
Setting personal goals and team goals is an important part of the Walk Your AS Off Campaign. I don’t know about you, but I tend to do my best when I’ve got a specific goal or endgame in mind. This is also an important part of managing my team because sometimes, I can’t meet my goals. I rely on my team members to help out if I’m not feeling 100%. Luckily, I have a fantastic group of walkers that are well educated about AS and that understand that they might need to pick up the slack – my slack – from time to time.
Our team step goal that night was set at 50,000 steps.
I am really pleased to say that we easily surpassed that goal, clocking in with a step count of 101,628 steps for Walk Your AS Off 2015!
Thank you to everyone who came out!
This is our second year participating in Walk Your AS Off.
Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall is a popular tourist attraction in Taipei, but this was the first time I’ve ever visited at night. I was surprised to see so many people using the complex grounds to walk, run, practice tai chi, and dance. The heat and the humidity of Taipei tapers off in the evening, and we enjoyed gorgeous, cool weather for walking.
Our team of walkers met at the front gate, and we set off at a brisk pace shortly after 8pm. We walked the outer perimeter of the complex first and then circled around the inner perimeter to snap some photos of the team.
Here is our official team photo from the evening, minus a number of walkers who had to leave early. (Note to self: Take team photos before the walk begins next time)
From a personal perspective, this walk was a bit difficult for me. I came out of remission in July 2014. My doctor has had me on a number of different treatment plans in her search for the right drug cocktail. I haven’t been able to engage in a lot of exercise in the past six months, although I’m usually a fairly active person. I’ve practiced yoga for over a decade, but that hasn’t been possible for quite some time because of the swelling and inflammation in my shoulders, elbows and knees.
I tucker out pretty fast, but I’m still really proud of what I accomplished on Thursday night. My personal step count that day was 11, 209.
I am so grateful to have such a great support network here in Taipei. It’s tough going through rough patches without family nearby, but my Taipei-family always comes through for me.
Thank you to everyone who came out last week. Your support means so much to me and to AS patients around the world.
Special thanks to Trisha Nicole Fileccia and Jeffery Yu (and me!) for photos of the evening.