Sunday, February 15, 2009

Inspiring Stories

Recently, I have come across several inspiring marathon stories that remind me that I have no legitimate excuses to give up in my training. Their stories are good kicks in the butt and help me to get out and running for the day. These people, whose stories I'll now share with you, have overcome a lot in order to run, something which I think I've often taken for granted:

Matt Long, an NYFD, was a runner his whole life, until he got hit by a 20-ton bus. After 2 years of intensive therapy, he ran his first mile in 22 minutes. Following months of preparation, he ran the NYC Marathon in 3:33 He did celebratory push-ups at the finish line.

Team Hoyt is a father-son triathlon team. Dick Hoyt pushes, pulls and bikes with his son Rick during marathons and Ironman competitions. They've completed 26 times in the Boston Marathon and 6 Ironman competitions.

I just heard of this last story yesterday. The Discovery Health channel did a show called "Marathon Love," which featured the story of Jamie and Lynn Parks. Lynn was in a serious car accident five months before the 2 were supposed to get married in 1987. Even though her brain stem was severely damaged, their love continued to grow. They eventually married. Jamie, an avid runner, wanted to have Lynn around always, so he would push her in her wheelchair. In 2008, they completed the Boston Marathon in 3:25.

It may sound silly, but I cried a little bit watching all of these videos - they are very touching stories. There was something in particular about the Parks story that moved me. So, I e-mailed Jamie this morning, to thank him and his wife for some much needed inspiration and motivation. Within a few hours, I got a very nice e-mail from him, wishing me luck with my training and saying that he would keep me in his prayers.

There's an amazing community of runners and people out there, and I feel as if I've just barely scratched the surface.

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