Turn sadness and heartache into motivation and inspiration.
When Michelle Chan’s parents both passed away from cancer (her mother in 2003 and her father in 2009), she decided to honour them by lacing up.
It was then that Team RMAO was born.
For its members RMAO stands for ‘Running My Ass Off’ but for Michelle those letters represent the name of her parents.
“I created this team for both of my parents, Roger and Marilou, who passed away from cancer. I hope to carry on their legacy with every step, raise cancer awareness and inspire others along the way.”
Michelle has made a goal to run 333 races their honour. Why 333? She explains the story on Team RMAO’s website:
It’s my mom’s favourite number. She always saw it as a divine confirmation. In times of doubt and worry, she would see it randomly. The signs were so frequent that it had to be much more than just a mere coincidence. Until this day, I see it EVERYWHERE. In her honor, I have created a life-long goal to run 333 races. I am determined to meet my goal and to inspire others along the way through the legacy of my parents.
I stumbled onto Team RMAO’s Instagram account over a year ago and have been following the group on their journey. One by one, Michelle checks off races alongside her teammates.
Call it blind following, but I never really looked up on why Michelle’s username was TeamRMAO333. Last month I was really in need of inspiration and after seeing a post that did just that, I decided to click on her website. It was then I found the source of her running fire.
Ever since my type 1 diagnosis alongside my neurological yet-to-be-diagnosed condition I’ve thought, “How can I change this into something positive?”
I NEED to change this into something good. It’s just how it has to be.
So I reached out to her via e-mail and Michelle reached right back. I was in near tears when she responded to me. Her and I have a passion to promote health and fitness, a bond that was confirmed time and again after each interaction.
Here’s a short Q&A with Michelle. Click on each photo and below will be the question and above it, a text photo with the answer.
Michelle isn’t a natural athlete. She works hard to pound the pavement. At the end of each race when things get really tough, she thinks of what awaits her.
I am so honoured that Michelle has asked me to be an ambassador for Team RMAO, the first in Canada!
My SportingLife 10km run yesterday, which raised money for kids with cancer, was my first race representing the team. So much Team RMAO love.