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Running for a cause: how one runner is using the activity as a coping mechanism

Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 07:03:01-04

WISCONSIN — When Josh Palasz decided to start running, he had the "go big or go home" mentality.

"I thought, might as well go for the big one and go for the marathon. I think it's something I wanted to get off my bucket list as well. So I was just shooting for the stars and I finished it," says Josh Palasz, a local marathon runner.

The hobby quickly became a way for Josh to cope with his father, Christopher, being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, or MS.

"When I was running I was thinking about getting to see things for him. It just gave me motivation to keep on pushing and when my body started wanted to fail or quit I thought about him a lot and other people who don't have the opportunity to run," says Josh.

When his father passed, running was an outlet to grieve.

"Once my dad passed, I ran a half marathon, just by myself the day after he passed just to get all the emotions out. While I was doing it I was able to recall all the good memories that we had together and just all the fun times that we did have," says Josh.

Putting purpose to the pavement in 2020, Josh recently ran 15 miles every day for 6 days straight. One of 19 runners in the virtual 'MS runs the US' campaign, every step honored his father.

"Finding a new community in 'MS Runs the US' was a big thing because I thought it was just me and my brothers dealing with having a parent or loved one having MS. Hearing all the different runners and their stories of how people are connected to them, some of them have MS. So seeing people who have so many challenging things come their way and them tackling it just super inspiring," says Josh.

Never alone, for the final miles of Josh's journey, friends and family joined him.

"So many people knew my dad and loved my dad, and got to see him through his last few years and the toll that MS took on him. That was really emotional because it was also his birthday the next day. So it was a very special moment that we got to share together," says Josh.

Whatever path Josh decided to conquer next, every mile is for dad.

To learn more about Josh's story, others, or donate to the cause click here.

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