Many people run for different reasons. I guess you have been asked many times how you started? Do you remember the “Forrest Gump” movie line where one day he just decided to start running.
The news reporters caught up with him and asked him ” Sir, Why are you running?” Are you doing it for world peace? Are you doing it for women’s rights? Or is it the environment? Or maybe for animals? Or nuclear arms?
Forrest answers: “I just felt like running”
Running has become a passion for many of us reading this blog. Some of the special moments experienced in running can last a life time. If you stay out there long enough – these experiences will create those “Kodak” moments. One of my most special moments in running came in my first marathon where I was running with Paul Conn. I dedicated every mile of that marathon to someone who had made an impact on my life. I wrote letters to many of them to tell them how much I appreciate them and told them which mile I was running in their honor. On mile 14, I had dedicated this mile to a special friend who had passed away (Dale Goff). We had worked 14 years together at Lee University. He was such a great encourager at work and he would ring a cowbell to celebrate special achievements. As I began that particular mile – I had the names written on a wrist band by each mile. As I began thinking about this individual, I heard a fan on the roadside ringing a cowbell. I heard no other cowbells during the race except on mile 14. That moment was a special memory that I will never forget. To this day, every time I heard a cowbell ring – it reminds me on that day in DC on mile 14 in the Marine Corp Marathon.
Another special memory happen one Saturday when my running partner Tim and I were doing a weekly long run. It was before sunrise when we started because rain was approaching the area. About 3 miles into the run, we ran into the morning rain and fog. The thought of running in the rain was depressing but I quickly noticed two people standing in the rain just ahead. My first thought was who would be out this early and doesn’t have sense to get out the rain. As we approached them, what we saw was a soldier and his girlfriend saying their goodbyes while waiting on his ride. They were not about to let the rain separate them during these closing minutes. It made me think how much sacrifice is made everyday to make us safe. We both felt proud as we passed – maybe we were the only ones that got to experience this on that dark cold rainy Saturday morning. An image I will never forget.
If you run long enough – you will have these special experiences. What are those moments for you? I could go on by telling you the money, tools and other items I have found on the road side or maybe the time I outran a pit bull but I will save those for another day.
So you may ask “Gary, Why are you running? I am racing now for the “Running for Food” organization because I believe we all have a responsibility to give back. www.irunforfood.org
Running can be a great way to reach others. So join the team and together we can make a real difference – one race at a time!
“You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don’t run and never will… those who run but don’t race…those who started training for a race but didn’t carry through…those who got to the starting line but didn’t in the finish line…those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You’re still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you’ve outlasted.”
– Joe Henderson