Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Just Love Overcomers

Read a most inspiring post on one of the blogs I follow: In that post it talks about the joy and inspiration of those who "finish." The folks out there, pushing themselves to start, pushing themselves to continue, pushing themselves to finish, overcoming personal obstacles, overcoming circumstances, overcoming self-perceptions, overcoming physical limitations. These folks are winners; heroes! Can you guess? I just love overcomers! I love them so much that I want to be one too. Having been at the back of the pack for most of my 32 marathons, I have seen some trench warfare with the self out there in those last miles. I also love first timers, and hopefully been help and inspiration as I coached and ran with some folks doing their first. I remember running with my friend Ken on his first marathon. Half way, he was done, I thought. He told me to go on and he stopped-I thought to go to his vehicle. Coming back in my own vehicle on my way home, there in the street, a couple miles yet from the finish line, was Ken still plodding ever forward, ever forward. I couldn't believe it ! Well, Ken has gone on to finish 60-70 marathons, some ultras, and has completed 20 marathons in the past six months, some on the same weekend, some on consecutive weekends. Oh yeah, Ken is 70 years old or will be very soon. Henry David Thoreau wrote something to the effect that it isn't how good your behavior is that determines whether or not you are truly good, but it is the amount of evil you had to overcome. I think the same is true here. Generally, every one out there, gutting it out to finish, has overcome their own set of demons to get to that place. And when I watch these heroic finishers, I wonder what price they paid, what all they overcame? It makes me mist up. Did I tell you, I just love overcomers.