A racing tribute for our veterans
*"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." -- George Washington
Yesterday was the Merge 2018 Veteran's Day 5k sponsored by Ecolab. A friend of mine invited me to run the event, and I didn't plan much other than seeing my first opportunity to really aim for 1st place in a race. I had great friend in college who was in the Army named Cyrus. He would always say "aim small, miss small," so I decided intentionally aim for 1st place to see how it would go. The speaker of the event said the above quote to the crowd*, and then kicked off the national anthem. As the flag was raised and waving in the wind, my mind drifted to my brother and my brother-in-law who had served over seas several years ago. I imagined them looking at our flag as a sign of hope, promise, and security whenever times were hard. As the anthem finished, I decided to stop thinking of this as a race for me to win, but as a race that I could run to honor my brothers and every veteran for their sacrifice.
The race kicked off, and I noticed that there were some strong sprinters right out of the gate. I aimed to maintain a relaxed yet powerful pace, and watched as several others faded off in front of me. My goal to win was narrowing as I saw others surge on past me, but my real goal was to give it all I had. Pushing myself as hard as I could during a 5k is nothing compared to what those who served had to endure for this country. I noticed that most of the gate sprinters were gassing-out early, and I felt confident that my plan to remain relaxed yet powerful was paying off. I noticed one other runner who was holding strong, and it was me vs. him for the 2nd mile. With one mile to go, I stole the lead but took a wrong turn. I turn around to see that my opponent had a 30+ second lead on me now, so I dug deep and wasted no time charging after him. I knew that I had one mile to go, but was worried that he was too far ahead. I tailed him by an even distance until I noticed him panting to a slower pace. I see a small window of opportunity, and allowed the spirit of our veterans strength pull me closer. I flow swiftly past him and feel an overwhelming surge of energy in my legs to sprint through the finish. 1st place felt right. As I recover my breath, I look up to the flag and remember it was the sacrifice of our veterans that allowed us to have moments like this, in the spirit of competition.
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we celebrate Armistice Day. We lay down our arms, and praise our warriors, old & young, battle or no battle. The American dream is alive and well, which is why I am able to write these words to you today. I want to thank every veteran who has sacrificed everything so we could have everything.
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Renner's High is changing directions, and moving out of clothing sales and into a training based platform! Everything must go, and sale prices are as low as possible to reduce inventory!