iRun and Rock: a new race in support of first responders
April 3rd, 2013
When Nicole Taylor, a military wife and nurse by day, took classes to become a certified yoga teacher, she had no idea it would lead to the creation of iRun and Rock, a new race in support of first responders.
The June 1, 2013 event features a 1km, 5 km, 10km, 4km Full Battle Team Relay and rock concert put on by Glass Tiger. Perhaps more importantly, it’s generating momentum for Post Traumatic Stress disorder research and awareness in the first responder community.
Held at the Ray Twinney Recreation Centre in Newmarket, iRun and Rock will bring together speakers, display booths and educational materials to educate lifesavers and their families on what PTSD is, how it can affect them and what treatment options are available.
PTSD has traditionally been associated with soldiers, but Taylor works at a hospital with first responders, so she sees firsthand the devastating effects PSTD can have in other lines of work involving life or death situations.
Trying to alleviate some of the damaging emotional trauma faced by lifesavers, Taylor offers a specific kind of yoga at her studio in Barrie. “Taylor Made Yoga” holds classes for soldiers, veterans and first responders suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
She was surprised by the number of OPP officers who began attending classes alongside military veterans.
“These are men who have been living with trauma for many years,”said Taylor.
That’s why Taylor was inspired when she heard about the First Responders Day Act 2012 – it’s a bill that’s supported by all political parties but has yet to be proclaimed. It was the perfect occasion to hold a race in support of the first responders and their families.
PTSD has a way of transferring itself from the initial responder to other members of the family. Taylor has been educating teachers in the area about how trauma can be transferred to other members of the family.
“There’s more suicide among kids of first responders then any other population,” said Taylor.
The funds from the race go towards a research study at York University which is looking at the effects of PTSD on first responders. It’s being conducted completely on the time and efforts of volunteers.
“I think that when it comes to PTSD, people are so tired of keeping it well hidden. It’s time for this community to come together as a unified group and start thinking about it,” said Taylor.
iRun and Rock is about education and awareness, but it’s also about the community. Taylor says it’s a community of people who are so used to taking care of others.
“They don’t do anything for themselves.”
Taylor thinks that’s why support for the event has already generated so much attention.
“There is a way through this and we’re standing together in this.”
To get in touch with one of the organizers of the event go here or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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