Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wind Beneath My Wings

Many ask me why I run? How did I start? I ran a bit when I was 21. I would run to and from my job. I developed an illness and running was no more as well as the knee surgery when I was 18! So when my kids were sick and bed ridden in the hospital, I needed a release. I started running by fishing actually. My wife would tell me I was working way too many hours and on an off day I needed to take some mornings for me. IN 2004, we moved back to NY from Maryland and moved in with my uncle because we had nothing left after a bad deal in Baltimore. The surgeries, the hospitals and life itself just were stacking up on me. I started fishing the first week. I would take two loaded coolers and run up the piers at Emerson Park. The next week I decided I hated fishing and I put the coolers down and just started running up and down the piers. Most weeks I can still be found there. Not fishing mind you!

2005 was really my first year of running. I started running to train with my sister who was running on 8th grade modified cross country. I was awful. My first ever race, I tore my IT band. I bandaged it and went and worked an 8 hour shift on my feet. I was thinking running wasn't for me. I kept going. In Fall 2005 I was feeling better and I entered a race and came in 9th overall. It was the first bit of confidence I had. Then it progressed over time. I increased my mileage. I started doing more races. 2006 I fell in a race and tore out my right knee. I heard a man say, "Ah that must suck!" So I stood up got next to him and said, "yeah it does!" Then I beat about 100 other runners to finish in the top 10. Stupid but it showed me I was about more. It wasn't until 2007 that I got a ton better. I entered a race in the summer and I was sick and ended up winning the race by over a minute. That's when I knew that not only was I a better runner but that it was fun. Along the way I decided that I was going to run for sick children all over the place. My main target area is CNY but I have run in other places as well. 2008 was a tough one with the car accident. I gave up. I quit running. Then came back for one race in July to only get injured during a rain storm and was shelved again. I was thinking, "AM I CURSED!"

In September of this year I decided to come back at week 5 of rehab for my foot. The result was I ran 3 races in 9 days! I had two top 5 finishes and a top 25 finish in a very large race. During this period I started feeling like there was, "WIND BENEATH MY WINGS!" I started feeling like that something was at my back and helping me. I felt this last week on my first 50 mile week run in two years. Then I started meeting people and revisiting myself with old friends. Slowly over time building up good friend bases who had amazing words of encouragement. So today I stand here. Each day I push on, for the children. I run on and I figure even if I get hurt while training to run the prestigious Boston Marathon, then there is always a wheelchair event!

In the words of one of my most favorite mentors, "Don't Give up, Don't Ever Give Up!" I live by those words of the late Jim Valvano everyday. Everyday is a gift. The gift I created is TheRun4life.org. A place that stands for something in a empty world! We have created and changed so many lives on very very little and it makes me very proud to be a part of it with my children. It touches me that your here reading this today!

If anyone is interested in the project go to: http://www.therun4life.org

You can also click on my Boston link there and see who I am running for see a little bit about each person who has sponsored me. Each sponsor is very important to me and I thank you!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving -Vin

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