“Pace” is a word that every good runner knows by heart. It’s a word most people can identify, but one that very few practice in their everyday lives. It’s a word that, over the last few years, has come to mean a lot to Smitha Arons. An avid runner, Arons is also a full-time attorney and community organizer, as well as wife to her husband Mike, and mother to five-year-old Serena and seven-year-old drew. The only “pace” she knows is “neck-breaking warp-speed.”
But nearly four years ago, Arons’ life changed forever. Her daughter, Serena, then just 18 months old, was diagnosed with
epilepsy, a neurological disorder most popularly characterized by recurring seizures and other sensory disturbances in the brain. Now five, Serena lives as normal a life as possible for someone affected by the disorder.
“She’s the hardest worker I’ve ever seen,” Arons tells us. “She’s incredible. She never uses epilepsy as an excuse, and never lets any of it hold her back from living a normal life.”
Running for a Reason
Following Serena’s diagnosis, Arons dove head first into the world of running, becoming one of the chapter co-leaders of Moms Run This Town San Diego, a blogger for Running with SD Mom, founded America’s Finest Fitness Bloggers and is an ambassador for several companies and organizations.
“To me, running and organizing this community is to give myself something to think about other than worrying about Serena,” Arons says. “But it’s also about showing her that mommy is just as proud and brave as she is. I went from being terrified of a 5k in May of 2013 to preparing for my first marathon at the end of February 2015.” (Editor’s note: A full marathon is 26.2 miles!)
Arons also says that Sharon’s Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy is an excellent way for families and individuals affected by epilepsy to come together, support one another, and proudly identify as not just a group, but an entire community.
Buy a Shirt & Join The Fight Against Epilepsy – Proceeds to Epilepsy Foundation
Arons’ latest charitable endeavor hits very close to home. On April 26, 2015, she and her team, Serena’s Crusaders, will participate in Sharon’s Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy in her city of San Diego. In order to help raise money for the event and get her team closer to their $10,000 goal, she has partnered with Rush Order Tees to help design and print custom t-shirts.
More than just t-shirts, these pieces of fabric will come with a message – about the importance of pace.
“I thought long and hard about what I wanted the t-shirts to say, and in the end, I settled on ‘Pace Yourself,’ because it applies to more than just running,” she tells us. “Enjoy the moment of this day. Every day without a seizure or an accident is a good day, and one that needs to be cherished. And just as in running, pacing oneself and taking the time to enjoy – truly enjoy – every good moment is priceless.”
Join Serena’s Crusaders for a Great Cause
According to Arons, approximately 25 percent of the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego’s annual operating budget comes from this one event. The Sharon’s Ride.Run.Walk for Epilepsy website predicts almost 3,000 people will participate in this year’s event.
“The t-shirts will serve as a reminder to me and everyone who wears them to pace ourselves and enjoy all the beautiful moments we have in our lives – with our families, our friends, and each other,” she said.
Proceeds from the sale of the t-shirts will go directly toward Serena’s Crusaders’ $10,000 fundraising goal for the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego.
“The running has given me a hobby and an interest, and a way to inspire others to be healthy and live in the moment,” she says. “But I’m not just interested in the running, I’m interested in the cause. The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego is the only service of its kind in San Diego, so giving them our support is essential.”
To purchase a commemorative Pace Yourself t-shirt, click here.