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Greatness – You CAN do it! ~ 29 days to go

August 31, 2012

Photo courtesy of Lil’ Sprout Memories (Alyssa Francis)

I recently saw a Nike commercial that features sweet Nathan Sorrell of Ohio.  That commercial has been often discussed with all kinds of dissenting and differing opinions.  I will admit that when I saw the commercial for the first time, I cried.  It was a really emotional moment, because I saw a young man who tried.  I saw a young man who didn’t let others define his value or self-worth.  In subsequent weeks, I have seen an interview with Nathan and his mom who have walked through a whirlwind of commentaries – some regarding the ad as genius and others who liken it to child abuse.  In the end, Nathan admitted that his critics only fueled his desire to work-out more.  Good for you, Nathan!  I am sure that run was not easy, but he did it.

His spirit reminded me of another young man who embraced life fully and who never gave up.  I don’t think there was an activity in life that he pursued that he didn’t at least give it a passionate try.  Yesterday, I shared that Reed kept on running.  I am sure it was hard and I am sure that he was pooped, but he did it.  His determination to support a friend kept him going, and he did it.

It was that perseverance that fueled me to wake up one morning and finish the journey that I had started with the boys in January of 2008.  That journey was to complete a triathlon as a team.  Well, the plans changed and I worked for one year to get into shape to do it.  It wasn’t easy.  It was time-consuming. My teammates weren’t able to compete; so my work load tripled. I wasn’t going to set any impressive records. Yet, I worked and worked some more.

One of my personal favorite memories from my triathlon was the surprise I got after completing the swimming and biking to see my family and dear friends waiting to cheer me on.  Sweet little M had made signs.  Many read, “You can do it!”  But the one that caught my heart was written in her best 1st-grade penmanship said, “Can you do it?”  I also doubled-over from laughing so hard.  In reality, I was thinking the same thing, because after a half-mile swim and 17 miles biking, I wasn’t sure I had 5k of running left in my legs.  But with one of my friends (pulling a Reed – running alongside of me), I just kept going, and I did it.

Yes, there are serious and competitive runners at Reed’s Run as it is a certified and sanctioned event.  But we have moms and dads with babies in strollers.  We have grandmas and grandpas who go for a nice fall walk.  We have families that go for an evening stroll.  Whether you come to win or come to walk, in the end both extremes cover the same distance.

The best advice I ever got from one of my college professors (who in this case happened to be my dad) was, “The first key to success is to show up.”  Thank you to all who have showed up in the past; you are the key to our success.  If you are considering this year’s run, I promise – “You CAN do it!” And who knows you just might, “Find Your Greatness” because just like Nathan, we are all capable of it!  I know because your greatness has been a big part of my family’s healing!

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