Meeting someone who is among the best at what they do is pretty cool, but meeting a hero is more than that; it is inspiring.
At the NYC Marathon expo, I met two of the greatest runners of all time; Ryan Hall and Greta Waitz. I enjoyed meeting two people who made it to the top of the running world. Still there is a limit to what I take away from the experience. While I understand that good genes alone would not have led to their success, there is not much that I can learn from them. While I wouldn’t mind if Asics would offer me an endorsement deal to become a full time runner, I am not exactly waiting for that to happen.
I remember when I first saw the picture of Matt Long. It was not the picture one expects to see on the cover of a running magazine. While he was clearly in shape, his body was covered in scars. I opened the magazine curious to find out who this man was. Once I started reading I was captivated; captivated by the story of a fire fighter who was fit enough to qualify for Boston and to complete an Ironman Triathlon, and then had his life change when he was literally run over by a bus. As someone who sometimes allows life’s challenges to get me down, I was amazed by his comeback. Not only did he survive a near death experience, not only did he relearn to walk, but he ran the NYC Marathon, only a few years after his accident.
I got to meet Matt at the expo. He was there signing his book “Running Long”, which tells the story of his comeback in great detail. As much as I enjoyed meeting Ryan and Greta, I was inspired by Matt. I don’t know if I will ever qualify for Boston or complete an Ironman. I certainly have no plans to get hit by a bus. I do plan on being more resilient, of learning to keep on going even when I want to quit.
Gives new meaning to the term long run.
PLEASE donate in my mom’s memory to help children with cancer: