Running is difficult for me. I want it to be fun and I want it to be easy, but right now it is not. I do know, however, it will get easier as long as I stick with it.
When my dad started running last year and was having really difficult days he told me he started thinking about our soldiers overseas and how they're sweating in the sandbox with all their gear and at least when he runs no one's shooting at him. (He, of course, said this all more eloquently than I'm remembering it.) So, when it was hard he ran harder for them and recognized all the sacrifices they are making and suddenly a 6 mile run around down in 85-degree weather didn't seem so bad.
Recently we started talking about marathon possibilities. (It's all about the goals.) In the midst of that conversation, Dad sent me this article about former Marine Sgt. Jeremy Soles, who ran the Marine Corps marathon in November and broke the Guinness Book of World Records for running with a gas mask. While I was floored by his accomplishment - I've tried those things on - I was moved by his reason for doing it.
Sgt. Soles, founder of Team X-T.R.E.M.E., ran this record setting marathon in honor of Marine Cpl. John Michael Peck who despite having suffered from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) insisted on returning to the battlefield.
"A lot of times, people ask why we run in a gas mask," Soles said. "Well, we use the gas mask to symbolize what we do. People often ask how difficult it is, and our first thing to tell them is it's not nearly as difficult as overcoming traumatic brain injury, which he did, not nearly as difficult as overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder, learning how to walk again with prosthetic limbs -- and people see the parallel."
Running for a cause. Running for those who can't. Running to honor. What better motivation could there be?