Boston will be another race to remember. As I tackle each race, I learn a bit more about myself while learning about others. No matter how much you train, 26.2 miles in one of the world's toughest marathons will make you think twice, if not multiple times of why I'm torturing myself. For me, I don't have to second guess myself. This race weekend was more than just a run. In Boston, I joined my Semper Fi brothers who I am raising money for and it it really sunk in that I am doing a good thing. The time away from my family and the money I'm spending does not compare to the success I am witnessing for some of these men who are able to recover thru sport.
My wife Kelly, son Seth, and daughter Carli also had a wonderful time in Boston but more importantly, they were able to witness what some of these athletes/friends of mine have overcome and are overcoming from their injuries. One example is my son Seth, you see Seth really looks up to one of my friends named Manny. Manny is a really good friend of mine who was badly injured in Afghanistan. When I say badly, I mean he only lost his left arm among other injuries when an IED went off next to him on a ground patrol. But my son Seth doesn't look at Manny as person with a missing arm. Seth sees Manny as "Dad's friend", and once we landed in Boston, the first thing Seth asked is "Is Manny here yet?" because he knew Manny was coming to Boston. Manny really enjoys talking to Seth because Manny too has a wrestling background and Seth and Manny love exchanging stories about wrestling among many other crazy stories.
Another reunion for me was meeting up with other good friends too such as another Marine named Brian, and Jose to name a few. If you were to look up Jose Sanchez, you will find about a million hits on him. He's one bad ass individual that never let his injuries hold him back physically, but he does admit he always wanted to be left alone for various reasons after his injury. Becoming more involved with community events and races was one way to help him break him out of his shell that he slowly crawled into. Jose ran the Boston marathon this year carrying a flag that was given to him by his brothers and by him carrying the flag during the race is a way to honor them. Oh and may I add, Jose ran the Boston marathon with only one leg if that helps paint a better picture of how much dedication he has.
I would also like mention that we often hear the phrase "small world" in relation to many things. Well this was true because I did get to meet another person by the name of Jose who was a corpsman and was also injured when he lost his arm. This Jose was once stationed with Gabe at another unit who I mentioned when I ran the Texas 70.3. It was funny because I was explaining how I had friend who was a killer athlete from Texas and will be running the Boston marathon and that I would be looking out for him. Jose just happened to overhear my story and knew exactly who I was talking about. So yes, "small world".
Lastly I did get to meet up and see my other friends who are the bombing survivors of the Boston bombing. I first met them last year and got to see them again over the entire weekend. These guys are just great Americans and glad they are still here but like many veterans, some of them have seen what terrorism can do but it won’t hold them back.
This entire weekend was a success. From my first day to the my last day, I have many stories to share. I am also happy that my family was able to experience such a great American tradition in the in city of Boston.