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Posts tagged ‘walking’

Inspiration: A Marathon to Remember

It is not a rare thing for me to read an inspiring story about someone overcoming great obstacles and end up crying. Let me tell you… I’m a crier. But it is a rare thing when the very thought of that person’s story still has me choked up nearly a week later just upon thinking of it. And that is why I’d like to share Claire’s recent achievement and share just what it means to me.

Claire Lomas is paralyzed from the chest down Рthe result of being thrown from her horse during competitive riding finals in 2007. This past week, after 16 arduous days of slow and careful stepping, she became the first person to complete a marathon in a bionic suit. So first of all, that is already one of the most badass things I can imagine. On top of that, her ambitious goal gained the attention of many, including sponsors and other supporters who donated to her cause. By the time she reached the finish line, Claire had raised over £132,ooo for Spinal Research. Wow.

What amazes me most about this story is that it’s not just about one woman and her goal to walk again. There is so much more here. The fact that she used her walking for a greater good – making it a goal so seemingly insurmountable as to not be ignored. And of course it inspired a world of people, who in turn showed immense outpourings of support for her bravery. Then I begin to think of the bionic suit itself… and the scientists and engineers who must have poured their hearts and souls and uncountable hours into creating such a thing. Imagine what her success meant to them – and what their creation has meant to her. And finally, I think to myself, my god, what if I were paralyzed? And I saw this woman halfway across the world who just walked a marathon! Sure she has a $70,000 suit in order to do it, but she is walking again. That would be enough to change my whole world.

 

Thank you Claire, for living your life with gusto! And, as I have read in almost every article written about your story, doing it while always wearing a smile.

*Photo credit: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images

 

Resources:

Donate to Claire’s Cause for Spinal Research

“Badass Paralyzed Woman Finishes London Marathon in a Bionic Suit” – Gizmodo

“Paralysed Claire Lomas completes London Marathon” – The Telegraph

“Paralysed Athlete Finishes Marathon” – Independent.ie

 

Inspiration: Walking Into A New Year

It’s amazing how we take so many simple things in our lives for granted. Like walking. Being free to meander down forest paths or stroll down city sidewalks, soaking in all the life around you. How often do you take walks or go explore the world on foot? I know for me, it’s certainly not nearly as often as I’d like.. maybe once a month or even less. There is someone I know who has been walking a lot lately though. Someone who has inspired me to really embrace this simple gift of two good legs and a strong back to carry me wherever I want to go…

My brother has been battling back pain for over 10 years now, ever since he injured himself working as an inventory manager at a cabinet factory. Fortunately, not long after the injury he completed his degree and was able to move on to teaching – but the injury has limited his ability to do even something as simple as go for a long stroll or go hiking in a state park… things he dearly loved. That all changed late last year. In November, he began to realize – out of nowhere – that his back wasn’t hurting like it used to. He’d had no procedures or surgeries or new therapy. Nothing. And just like that, the pain was going away with no explanation for why. I’m so wonderfully perplexed by this.

And so, after over a decade of being restricted to only small trips to the store and straight home, my brother took his new found freedom and began to walk. He walked and he walked, for hours. For days. He bought a pedometer to track all his walking. By the end of January he had walked 45 hours and 42 miles! I’m so inspired by this walking journey of his. It made me think about what it would be like if I couldn’t just go out for a long walk or spend the day hiking at the lake… or the other physical things I enjoy, like rock climbing or kayaking. All the little things that can be so easy to take for granted, his story has helped to remind me to be very grateful that I have a healthy body that allows me to experience this journey of life in as many ways as I can imagine.

It has also inspired me to think of small ways to embrace the simple things in life. Today for example, has been an unseasonably warm and beautiful day in Dallas. With a cool breeze and temperatures in the 70’s (in February!), I decided to go home for lunch. I rode the whole way with all the windows rolled down and it was glorious. It wasn’t a 7 hour walk – but it was some small way to just stop from the hustle and bustle of life and soak in the beauty that is all around.

Thank you Mike. =)

To read more of Mike’s journey and other random awesome stuff he posts – visit his blog here!

 

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