Breaking the stigma around addiction

Allison Terlacher

From: Stow, Ohio

What do you do for a living?
I am a zoologist- with a special interest in birds. I am currently a park naturalist and get to spend the majority of my days outside connecting people with nature or in classrooms educating people about the importance of native Ohio wildlife.

How did you first connect with The Herren Project?
I first connected with Herren Project in 2016. I was watching some coverage of the London Marathon and realized that people run causes that inspire them. After a quick search online, I was taken to The Herren Project’s page and registered to Run my Own Race- The Cleveland Marathon half.

What is your interest in/connection to recovery?
My brother is in recovery. I am a self-diagnosed fixer and it absolutely devastated me that I could not just take his struggles away from him. Herren Project helped me to realize that while I cannot fight his fight, I can work to make a difference for people like him and families like mine.

Who is someone who inspires you?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been inspired by Steve Irwin. His passion for wildlife, even wildlife that the majority of people can find unloveable, was infectious and really influenced me- guiding me into my career. His work constantly emphasized that every creature matters and that every person has the power to make difference and make the world a better place.

What’s your favorite pastime or hobby?
My favorite hobbies are running and birding (sometimes both at the same time). I am also an avid reader.

What are you most proud of?
I am proud of my development as a runner. I was never athletic as a kid and didn’t start running until after college. Developing the endurance and the discipline to go further and faster than I ever thought possible has been so fun and something I am really proud of.

What does serving as a Herren Project Ambassador mean to you?
Running can seem like such a selfish sport- taking time to build your skills so that you can reach your own goals, but not in a way that contributes to a team. Herren Project gives me a team to connect to and a purpose for my running. Connecting with Herren Project in 2016 has been one of the biggest blessings in my life. Herren Project has given me a community of people who understand, so many new friends, and another reason to run. Serving as a Herren Project Ambassador is a way that I can give back and connect other people to Herren Project and further the message of recovery.