The Most Amazing Race EVER!

I’m not amazing—YOU’re amazing!

That’s how I want to respond to people who say that I’m amazing for having completed 4 marathons in 4 days in 4 states with Mainly Marathons.

(For the record, I completed the last 4 marathons of the Heartland Series—a 7-marathon series—marathoning through the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota).

Because here’s the thing.  I feel amazing, but I shy away from calling myself amazing.

I would rather say instead that I’m blessed!

I’m blessed to have a body that can heal itself after a ‘pretty serious’ back injury. I’m blessed to have a family that supports this ‘crazy running thing’ that I do. I’m blessed to have friends who ‘have my back’ no matter what—who motivate me and show me in their everyday lives that ‘amazing’ is how you live not what you do. I’m blessed to have the most amazing coach of all—Coach Jesus!

When it comes to amazing, what I do doesn’t even come close to the 100s and 1000s of miles…either ran or biked by those whom I call my friends, close ones like Larry Schmidt of Sparta who completed his 100th marathon last month at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, or distant ones who I know only by association—fellow Marathon Maniacs and 50 State runners who are always ready to motivate, offer advice, and help me achieve my next ‘running’ goal.

There are so many ‘more amazing’ people than me. People who have overcome much bigger obstacles, who complete races likes these on crutches due to paralysis, are without limbs, or suffering from other disability.  I can attest to the amazing hope these people give to the world by not letting the hand they’ve been given in life stop them from living life.

A few years ago, I experienced a back injury affecting my L4/L5 spine segments. To be honest, I didn’t know that I would ever walk completely straight again; ever have relief from the chronic pain I was experiencing; or be able to continue my marathon career—something I began in 2003 as a member of the  Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training to raise money to help combat the kind of cancer that has already claimed the lives of too many of my loved ones.

So, the fact that I’m here today to tell this kind of ‘amazing’ story is—well—the amazing part!  I hope that through my accomplishments I can give someone else the same ‘amazing’ sense of hope that countless others have given to me—that in some small way what I do will make a difference for someone else who is struggling with life.

As of right now, I have completed a total of 47 marathons and have plans to complete 3 more for a total of 50 marathons by my 50th birthday on August 19th.

It’s a reformulation of my ‘Plan A’ dream to run a marathon in each of the 50 states.  I still plan to accomplish that goal, but for now, I’m happy enough to get to the age-worthy number of 50.

Thank you, Lord, for keeping me in this ‘race’ called life. It’s truly the most AMAZING race ever!

"I can do all things in Him who strengthens me!"

Philippians 4:13

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