Last week we wrote about how the name No Guts Know Glorywas born. Well sort of. No Guts is a direct reference to Robert Hill losing his colon to Crohn’s disease. But some of you may be wondering why the name also puts a focus on “know,” or knowledge.
When Rob was sick, like many people who are deeply affected by inflammatory bowel disease, he came to realize that knowledge of himself was his key to a complete recovery. One of the most attractive things about spending time in the mountains is the self reflection these experiences often create being up high tends to give you a completely different perspective on your life, your world and the things that are important to you.
In a lot of ways, climbing mountains is a lot like being sick with IBD. You can feel completely alone, you can feel completely vulnerable to the things occurring around you and yet, at the same time, you can come to new realizations about yourself and your own ability to overcome what may seem like an insurmountable challenge. Being really sick, and going to really high places, these are unique personal-knowledge creating events. But they are not required in order for you to gain this kind of personal knowledge.
If you ask a marathon runner or an Ironman triathlete why they do what they do, push their bodies the way they do, many will tell you it’s because taking on these kind of physical challenges creates the conditions necessary to truly understand themselves. There are few lonelier times than when you are deep inside yourself searching for that something to get you through a significant challenge. That something is knowledge. It’s the knowledge that you have it in you, a strength, a faith, a desire, a will, to drive forward, to reach high, to aim your sights on a new goal, a new vision or sometimes even just survival in the face of a potentially life-threatening illness like Crohn’s disease.
It’s this knowledge that the No Guts Know Glory campaign embodies. It’s a knowledge that is in all of us. Some of us are forced to find it because of IBD. Others choose to go into the mountains or run really long distances in their search. And for some of us who have been sick with IBD, we go into the mountains to remind ourselves the knowledge is still there just waiting to be found. No Guts Know Glory seeks to remind you to seek knowledge, to overcome the stigma attached to bowel diseases and to believe in yourself, no matter how your personal story reads.