MuckFest MS Philadelphia: Team Captain Spotlight
Today we are excited to hear from team captain, Kim Bertram, of team Just Muckin’ Around as she shares her story of how she got involved in MuckFest MS® Philadelphia and how her team comes from all over the country to support her at the event!
A couple years ago, Kim walked into a sandwich shop and saw a flyer for MuckFest MS Philadelphia. She had been looking for something to do that weekend that wasn’t just your average local 5K and after seeing the mud and obstacles featured on the flyer she thought “why not?” After all, the event was in support of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Kim was diagnosed with MS many years ago.
That night she called up her friend Jason and asked him to join her at the event despite it being only two weeks away! Jason agreed without hesitation.
Despite her MS, Kim defeated the course that first year and was overwhelmed with the sense of accomplishment afterwards.
“It took me a really long time to finish it and I only skipped one obstacle. I was so proud of myself for doing something I never thought I could do. And seeing my friend Corey at the finish line holding a sign for me was the absolute best feeling in the world.”
Naturally, because Jason and Kim had such an amazing time in the mud and muck they decided to do it again the next year! In fact, they loved the event so much that they began recruiting other friends to do it with them. And since then, year after year, Kim has recruited additional friends to join her in the mud. And year after year more and more people have come out to Philadelphia to support her.
This year, Kim and her team Just Muckin’ Around will take on the mud again. This time nineteen members strong. Every single one comes out to help her stomp MS in the mud. Kim is the only one on her team living with MS and she appreciates them immensely for supporting her.
Kim is grateful to have such an amazing team to play in the mud with. “They don’t let me quit. We have people from Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Washington, New Jersey, and Michigan, and every year they’re standing with me, ready to raise money and get dirty to support the National MS Society. They really are the best teammates and friends I could ever ask for! I’m really looking forward to MuckFest MS Philadelphia in June so we can have our big reunion and play in the mud!”
And play in the mud they will! Not only does her team support her by flying from all around the country to spend a day in the mud and muck with Kim, but they also help raise funds to end MS forever. In fact, Just Muckin’ Around has raised more than half their fundraising goal for this year! That’s $10,529 raised between the nineteen of them to benefit MS research.
These contributions range from small donations to thousands of dollars donated from a huge fundraising golf tournament that Jason hosts in Richmond, VA every year. And Kim’s team doesn’t only raise funds for her, they do it for every single person living with MS, including people close to Kim. “One of my Challenge Walk MS teammates, Nancy, has MS. My friend’s daughter has MS. Most of the people I know have a family member or friend with MS, so I pretty much do MuckFest MS for everyone who can’t do it themselves.”
And for Kim, while playing in the mud with her friends is a blast, MuckFest MS also represents three important things for her: fun, hope, and love.
She describes MuckFest MS Philadelphia as an event where ANYONE can find these three things. When Kim’s out at the event she believes that, “You can do whatever you set your mind to!” She finds love and hope when she’s out at the obstacles. “Even if you’re afraid of an obstacle, you’re not going to be doing it alone. If people on your team aren’t right there to help you, everyone around you will help.”
And we can’t forget about the fun! Kim knows that when you’re covered in mud and muck and laughing with your team that you’re showing true MuckFest MS spirit. We call this your Mud Zone and Kim knows exactly when she gets into hers. “When I get into my MudZone, I try every challenge I’m faced with and laugh even if I don’t clear an obstacle.”
So take a page out of Kim’s playbook. Get a team together, raise funds, and have a blast. You might even discover your own Mud Zone. Or you might see Kim at one of her favorite obstacles, Swing Set. If you do, make sure to give her a muddy salute because she’s one of the many you’re playing in the mud for! Who knows, she might even try to recruit you onto her team for next year! “When we add a new teammate, I tell them that if you do it once, you’ll be back.”