I have never been the type of person to do something for the sake of doing it. I have pretty much always needed a push, a reason, a coach, etc. Running has been no different for me. I have met countless people who, for most of their lives, have been runners. For no other reason than that is what they are. There have also been people who were drawn into running by something that happened to them or to a loved one and because of that they have become
runners. Even though I have always been athletic in some form or another for most of my life I would not call myself a runner. It is not an obsession, if I take a week off I do not crave or miss it. I ran for a brief stint years ago because some friends of mine decided to start running, but like most things it didn't last. Then this past year after quitting smoking I decided to run so I wouldn't gain weight. Even with that in mind I still needed more so I joined TNT and for the better part of 5 months I was a runner. Then after my event I reverted back to being the non-running Bob, excuse making Bob, Lazyboy Bob!
I am not sure why I say this now other than maybe just that...to say it. To get it off my chest and start over fresh. I am back to running again and it feel great both physically and mentally, but still the push isn't there like it was last year. that is until yesterday.
The 2006 Ironman from Hawaii was on TV and I just happen to catch it. This was the first time since I started running that I have seen any type of endurance event and the stories to go along with it. Call it fate or carma or intervention, but timing is everything!!! The first bit of inspiration I saw was team Hoyt. http://www.teamhoyt.com/history.shtml
For those of you who are unfamilar with them please take a second and check out the attached link. What an amazing man! My wife Beth was down stairs doing some cleaning and I called her up to see their story. She said "thanks" for calling me up to see that and I think that is well said.
Next was an army officer who, while in Iraq had his foot blown off by a land mine. Then there was sister Madonna, a 76 year old nun participating in her 20th Iron man and then there was the story of Jon Blais and Brian Breen. In 2005 Jon Blais ran in the Ironman to promote awareness and raise money for ALS, which he had. One of the things he said while doing an interview back then was he would finish even if they had to roll him over the finish line. Well he finished and he rolled himself over the line. By the time the 2006 event came around he was confined to a wheelchair and could no longer walk let alone run. So in stepped tri-athlete Brian Breen, who before 2005 had never heard of Jon Blais. In 2006 however, he was running, biking and swimming for ALS. And how did he finish? Yep, he rolled himself over the line! Man how can I ever complain about cramps, quads, blisters, headaches again! Seriously?!!??
So this week starts my second trek into marathoning and I have a whole new set of challenges and goals. A new set of expectations and people behind me. Unlike last year my goal is not to just finish, but to make a difference. And in case I don't say it later... thanks!!! Thanks to the coaches, my team, the people I saw yesterday on TV and especially to my wife and kids. Without you I am nothing.
Thanks for stopping by,