April 14, 2013, the day before the Boston Marathon, marked an important date for me. It was 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours earlier (yes think Forrest Gump) that I ran the first two miles for what would be three marathons, three half marathons, one ultra marathon and three 200 mile cross country relays.
My first two-mile training run, through Team in Training, was difficult. It should have been seeing that I hadn’t run, well, since high school. Everyone else on that two mile run was running for a reason. They had a friend or loved one battling an illness. I was running; no reason; no purpose, just for me.
That night, cruising Facebook, I saw a high school friend, Pete, was starting his chemo treatment for a blood cancer the next day. Through a brief email exchange on Facebook, I shared my concern and gave Pete my commitment that he was going to be with me in spirit for the training and running of the 2010 San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.
So, I ran.
Today, Pete is in remission! Finishing the races and sending him the medals provided him a “boost”. Mission accomplished! His name engraved on the back, my initials next to the time (BTW, that kind of accountability also forced me to get to as many speed training workouts as possible)!
Pete wrote back about the great encouragement the medals provided.
But then I started thinking; Pete is just one person.
Consider these United States facts: In 2009, there were 1,555,143 people suffering from cancer. Last year, 528,375 people finished a marathon.
What if only a quarter of the runners gave their medal away to someone else? Then 132,093 people will be encouraged.
That’s why I built on a movement fueled by DetermiNation, Team in Training, PCAN, Joints in Motion, Team World Vision, Cycle for Life and many other excellent endurance training programs for charities. There are also scores of runners, far more talented than me, participating in clubs around Albuquerque and the United States who are running for someone. All of These groups, including my current running club the Oxy-Gen Morons, have these “One Medal Moments.”
One Medal is all about celebrating the accomplishments of others, providing a sacrifice of time and effort for someone else.
If they choose, athletes can donate their hardware, instead of placing it inside of a dusty shoebox, to provide encouragement to people going through chemo, recovery, remission or through some other reality changing life event.
If you run, why do you run?
My call to action is this: Run for someone, provide encouragement, let your time sacrifice of running, cycling and/or swimming be spent to provide someone, maybe a stranger, peace… if only for a moment. Then share your One Medal moment on www.onemedal.com.