The 4:00 or 4:30 AM alarm goes off and here we go again insanely listening to it. Get out of bed and run into a few doorways stumbling through the house. Maybe a pre-run mixed in and then 45 minutes of idiocy. And we do it for the needed fitness and the fellowship we never knew we were missing prior to F3. But what if this training isn’t just for us? What if all those alarms and merkins and burpees and mileage is for others as well? Speed4Need is the opportunity to combine the what we do along with why we do it with who it truly is for.
The Park church has a ministry serving disabled members in their particular needs and had asked Speed4Need to do what they do best: Push the Track Commanders across the finish line. 12 men showed up just to serve that purpose. Some of us run a bunch and some (Hairband) not as much. One of us has a 2,700+ day running streak going and I believe a few were on day #1 of their running streak. But regardless of gazelle or clydesdale status, we were running for more than just us on this morning.
The Track Commanders for this race were Miles, JoJo, Shawn and Malaysia. We had planned to just run 3 chariots but Malaysia and her Dad Al asked if she could command a chariot and the answer of course was yes. Al then tells us that he wants to go with her and this will be his first 5K (as well as hers) but he wouldn’t be able to run it. In God’s good humor, we have just the answer: A few will ruck it and just happened to have their rucks with them in their car. Pretty sure this was an answer to Hairband’s prayers as well to get to ruck it.
A great time was had by all the track commanders and those who got to run with them. Al and Malaysia both got their first 5K in the books. Learned Malaysia is a huge video gamer. Shawn and JoJo just had a blast and were all smiles. Their joy was humbling and inspiring to the men, and 2.0s, running with them. It was great to see Bernanke and Hairband’s 2.0s join them. Miles was a great commander for Blowout, Gypsy and YHC. This was his 2nd time and his Mom said he wanted to go fast this time. Fortunately, he was up to the challenge of keeping us on the right path and getting us across the finish line. He knew when we had to make that right turn and put up his right hand to let us know. And getting to watch the parents put the medals on them was such a fun moment for them and us.
I think we came into it thinking we’d be the ones pushing and found out their joy, zeal for life and excitement is what really pushed us throughout the race. I began running as an overweight guy who had just watched my Mom pass away from cancer. So, my running always has some meaning to it as a way to honor her but this was something different. Most of my running is for me and my health to be there for my family if I’m really honest. This running was completely for someone else. And I walked away grateful to get to run for someone else but also grateful for all you guys who get up when that alarm goes off and push through it together with me so that when the time comes, we can serve those who need us to push them across. This is why!
Video from the race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-OVE6QWfNI
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