I saw an amazing image this morning during a local 5K race. I watched as a father and son finished a 5K as a team. The duo worked together to complete the hilly goal. The young boy (who appeared to be around 7/8 years old) ran the race with the help of a walker and his father pushing from behind. He had limited use of his lower extremities forcing him to put the bulk of his weight onto his walker through the use of his arms. His father aided him by guiding from behind. I was talking to a few friends as I heard the crowed grow louder, I looked up to see the astonishing duo. They were both working equally as hard. I could see the sweat and determination on both their faces as they advanced towards the finish line. Tears filled my eyes as I step closer and began cheering. I clapped and yelled as loud as I could. What a fascinating moment to witness! As they passed the young boy was wearing a shirt which read, “No passing zone.” I smiled to myself and thought what a cute play on words.
Running takes everything inside of a person no matter the distance. I am in all when I see individuals (especially children) with limited use of their bodies competing. I thought about the love a father must have for their child to take the time to train with them and then compete with them. My heart melted as I almost lost it completely. I am unable to sum up in words the impression those two men left on me.
As I ran home I thought about them the entire way and the courage it took them to get into race shape. So many people focus on the distance, “Oh, it’s just a 5K,” but every distance is challenging in it’s own way. Racing is not about moving mountains it is about taking one step at a time. Who cares how far it is from point A to B or how long it takes one to get there? It’s about showing up on race day when everyone else is in bed. It takes grit and gut to put it all out there while others watch. Kudos and congratulations to everyone who showed up at the Run Throo the Zoo 5K (especially to the fearless father and son).