As Executive Director of Herren Project, I am always looking for ways to be involved in our programs and mission. So, when I was approached with the opportunity to be a part of the Herren Project team for the Cape Cod Ragnar, I hesitated for a minute and then agreed.
I hesitated because I had my first taste of what Ragnar was all about last May. The Ragnar is a 200-mile relay style all day, all night and day again race starting in Hull, MA and ending in Provincetown. It is an experience that includes miles of running shifts and riding in a van until your next shift. Last year I had the opportunity to volunteer at my daughter’s school, Waldorf School of Cape Cod. The school served as an exchange area for teams. My job was to direct the vans entering the school parking area to a sometimes difficult to find parking spot. Most of my thoughts on that night focused on how I would never want to be stuck in a van for hours on end with any group of people. Knowing the way my life works, I should have known I would end up in a van the very next year!
The Friday finally came where the fears in my mind would meet the realities of the next 18 hours stuck in a van. Little did I know I would be part of an experience that would test me mentally, physically and fulfill me spiritually. And before you ask, I was not even a runner. Just a driver for a group of 12 amazing souls representing the organization I believe in with all my being.
Everything I witnessed in that van is exactly what I pray Herren Project is and expands on. I couldn’t help thinking about Chris and Heather and what they had started over 7 years ago and how it has grown and how it has transformed the lives of so many.
I experienced and witnessed love, support, kindness, hope, and recovery. I witnessed people pushing themselves farther then they have ever gone before. And most important I witnessed a team committed to each other and committed to the work of Herren Project. As tired as I was, the emotion and the experience carried me to a place of renewal.
I believe to be successful in recovery you need love, support, kindness and hope. I know this is what Herren Project tries to do every day for those who trust us to help them on their journey. This experience has provided me proof we are on the right track. If you are struggling, reach out. If you are not, reach out to someone who is. The world can use a little more of what I experienced in that van.
Pam, Mary, Alexis, Ellen, Nicole, Tanya, Heidi, Token Tim, Emily, Kristin, Desiree, and Paula. You are all rockstars! Thank you for your dedication to helping Herren Project reach “One Person, One Family at a Time.”
Kevin Mikolazyk is the Executive Director of Herren Project. A person in long-term recovery, Kevin has dedicated his life to helping others throughout his professional career.