A community of heroes

HT_Maickel_Melamed_ml_150421_16x9_992For being the week of the Boston Marathon I feel like I have been failed the running blogsophere by not mentioning the marathon at all. I’ve been EXTREMELY busy getting ready for PrepperCon this weekend and have been pulling some very, very late nights. It’s fun, just draining.

BUT … I was really touched by the news yesterday of the story of runner Maickel Melamed. He was the last runner to cross the finish line having done it 20 hours after the race began. Before you think to yourself … I can walk a marathon in half that time, Melamed also has muscular dystrophy.

Melamed had finished the marathon shortly before 5am on a wet Tuesday morning. He was handed his medal by the mayor of Boston while being cheered on by his friends, family and a spirited group of supporters that ran along the route with him. I won’t lie, I would have LOVED to have been there to see that moment.

His reasons for running Boston are many. But, first and forthmost it’s about sharing the message of peace. And, there are a couple of great articles delving into his story and reasons (check them out). But, the one line that really pops out to me is from one of his childhood friends … “This is not about Maickel, it’s not about Venezuela, it’s about the world, and it’s about creating a world for peace with the intention of putting humanity first.”

Love it! Love, love, love it!

Stories like Melamed’s are one of the many reasons why I love being a part of the running community. This community is truly one of heroes. I don’t care what your definition of heroism is, but anyone willing themselves to overcome overwhelming odds, bringing awareness to a cause, running with or for someone or whatever the case may be … they’re heroes in my book.

I remember years ago watching a documentary of a grieving father who ran a marathon a day from Minnesota to Georgia. I can’t remember the specifics of his run, but it was my first exposure to “cause” running. And, even today we hear of other amazing feats of endurance. It doesn’t matter what speed, what distance or what cause, it’s something that stretches their capabilities and there is something innately heroic about that to me.

On the other hand, I have other runners who are in awe of my running goal. But, I don’t look at my running goal in the same light as these runners. Sure it’s an abnormal goal. But, I gave myself 10 years to run over 180 races over 13.1 miles.

But, my journey doesn’t excite me as much as hearing how others overcome their difficulties and hardships. I feel like I was just fat, lost weight and started running. I know there’s more to that, but I can’t compare myself to the countless other stories that put me in awe.

This community is a community of heroes and I always in awe of people’s stories. Whether it is the Melameds or the Marathon Mothers or the first-time marathoners or the 100-time marathoners or the pushers … and really, the list could go on. And, I mean really.

The point is though we’re all heroes in some degree. Whether that heroism is shown solely to us, our family, close friends or the world we should embrace that. Our actions, our triumph, our adversity are always seen and how we respond and act speaks a lot about character.

I love this quote, that I think sums everything up …

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And, sometimes that first single step is the most heroic step we can ever take.

Gosh, I love running! Especially the Boston Marathon, because it’s stories about the human spirit like Melamed’s marathon journey that makes me even more grateful that I am runner.

YEAH RUNNING!!!

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