Snowshoeing 100 Miles for Mental Health
Community member Stephanie Manosh is bringing awareness to mental health illnesses through a 100 miles Snowshoe Marathon fundraiser on March 10th, 2017.
Stephanie will be raising funds to benefit Lamoille County Mental Health Services programs.
"For those of you that know me, you know I run a lot. In Vermont, in the winter, this sometimes translates to a lot of snowshoeing.
On an unrelated note, 2016 was difficult for everybody for a myriad of reasons. Some of them political (unless you were one of the spectators angrily perched on an imaginary border wall). We lost David Bowie and Harambe. Climate change got real-er and I got blind-sided by a break-up that felt like a divorce.
Politics in an election year are always divisive, but I am confident 2016 left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouth (if your preferred candidate won let’s get coffee in four years and have an honest, no-nonsense debriefing).
Personally, 2016 was a very tough year for my family and I. My Uncle Stuart Manosh, who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia for the majority of his adult life, and for the entire time that I knew him, took his own life in May. I know this hit my father especially hard, because he was his primary caregiver, and also the closest living brother to him in age. It should be noted that Uncle Stuart was an avid outdoorsman and didn’t have much use for politics. He spent the majority of his time fishing and or in his hunting cabin in Eden. Uncle Stuart was a smart guy.
Untreated mental illness has real consequences for sufferers and their families -- especially when family members choose to ignore or stigmatize discussing that mental illness.
Why tie these things together? I have been attempting the 100 Mile Snowshoe race on and off for the last 5 years now, mostly for myself. In 2017 I would like to snowshoe for something and I have decided that the most obvious thing, at least for me, would be for improved mental health in my community.
Lamoille County Mental Health Services more specifically.
Uncle Stuart, when he was feeling disoriented, would often go to Oasis House in Hyde Park to rehabilitate himself and receive psychiatric services. In small, rural communities these stabilization centers are crucial for people in crisis. They can make the difference between someone taking their own life, or not. Lamoille County Mental Health Services are working tirelessly to establish Lamoille County as a “Zero Suicide” area. Zero Suicide is a concept and a practice that, as the name implies, tries to keep the suicide rate at zero.
So all I am asking is that in exchange for me snowshoeing seemingly endlessly in a loop on a mountain (for like 36 hours, srsly) you donate to my fundraiser. $5 is still $5. If I can get $500 that is like $33 for every 6.5 mile loop I am expected to snowshoe...or $11ish an hour. That’s almost a minimum wage job. Can you fund my minimum wage job? (If you’re doing the math -- you’re right at that speed I probably won’t finish the full 100 miles)
(I am also doing The Endurance Society 60k snowshoe race in February! You should totally go to that.
I should add that I was also inspired to do this fundraiser because I was interviewed by Vermont Sports magazine for their “Reader Athlete” section. The interview will appear in their March/April edition and when it does I will link to it from here (I mention the fundraiser in the interview)."
- Stephanie Manosh