I’m now 43 years old and even though I think of myself as 30 I’m feeling more like 43 every day. On the physical side it’s nothing major, just little less mobility and the knees talk to me more than before. On the mental side, I’ve matured.
I’ve learned to be grateful. And my gratitude extends to my running.
Let me highlight just some of the things I see in the world that make trail running and ultra marathons so special for me.
I worked at the Logan Center in South Bend Indiana. They work with people who have mental and physical developmental disabilities. These are special, kind, kids and adults who will never know the joys afforded to us who run like we do. They can’t simply put on a pair of running shoes and head out the door. Most struggle to tie their shoes and their biggest goal in life is to one day live somewhat independently through assisted living.
Next, Bailey (my dog) and I volunteered for Harbor LIght Hospice. We visited nursing homes with patients who had terminal illnesses. Old or young, they would never again set foot out the door to see things, such as the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, that I see everyday. They found gratitude in the smallest of victories such as being able to stomach a light meal.
Finally, while I never served in the Military ( a deep regret ), I’ve become very thankful and grateful to those who are making the sacrifice to protect our country (regardless of my views on where they are sent to serve). With the advances in battlefield medical treatment, more and more soldiers are surviving battle with wounds that leave them permanently disabled. They are veterans that gave of themselves and have lost their mobility so that I can have mine.
So, here I am of sound mind and body. I have the resources, time and physical abilities to leave my door with a pair of shoes and shorts and run for an hour, two, ten, or even twenty four.
My goal is to find a place and time during every run where I give thanks to the Universe and my God for letting me have this precious life and say a prayer for those who don’t.
Running IS NOT simply running. It’s a gift; a precious gift that I try never to take for granted.
Here’s a video about one of my Idols.. Dan Harshman… A man who gave of his life so others could have a better one.