Today I was reminded of the strength of the human spirit. I ran the New York Road Runners Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 mile race in Central Park…and it truly is my annual reminder that a person can accomplish any goal as long as you never give up hope. I try to run this race every year – and I never shoot for a PR (a Personal Record). Why? Because I’d rather go slower and legnthen the amount of time that I am surrounded by this incredible athletes.
I cheered a female wheelchair athlete on as she slowly made her way up Cat Hill. You could see that the hill was giving her all she could handle – yet she fought back and continued to edge her way to the top. Many runners, myself included, yelled constant cheers of support as she traded blows with the hill. There was grin from ear to ear plastered on her face while she was locked in battle – you could tell that she actually embraced the challenge. Eventually, she dealt the hill a knockout blow, and reached the top. The cheers she received from everyone around her were INCREDIBLE. It was one of those moments where you realize just how strong people can be on the inside.
I ran alongside a gentleman that was the recipient of a heart transplant. I ran with Marines that were wounded in Iraq. I ran with a man that used two crutches to get himself around the 5 mile course.
So what have I learned today? I was once again reminded that there are two types of people out there: those who say I can’t, and those who say I CAN. When you surround yourself with people – even total strangers – that embody the I CAN mentality, it makes you a better person.
Now I need to embody that I CAN attitude more effectively. Being around those courageous athletes gave me the mental kick in the rear-end that I needed.