Satisfaction is the gold currency of successful runs.”
- Terry Hitchcock
Most other days off the road, Terry would have thought of his kids; of how to be a better dad; of whatever else might be needed to be that kind of a dad. Instead, pounding heated and uneven pavements and the surfaces of never-before-trodden levels, hills, straightaways and curves on The Run was not the time or place for that. Each hour, each footfall, each second of every day was about personal survival, pure and simple. And PAIN: how could he will himself to take one more step, to withstand another stabbing of sharp, constant pains in his ankles and knees, just continue to breathe, and somehow survive what he had started?
For sure, one swirling question forced its presence into his mind every moment of every day: why am I doing this? No doubt he did think of his kids and of his friends; he thought of all the children for whom he was running.
The daily grind was more demanding and strenuous both physically and mentally than expected, and he struggled to get through another hour, another day, another week, and another month. Topping that situation off, he had to ponder which highways to travel on because the State Highway Patrols had dictated where he could NOT run. Added to this soupy mix were more questions: Where to sleep tonight? (He would not always have the trailer intended to house him at night.) What to eat next? —at least, something beyond the bananas he had to eat regularly to keep up his potassium level, which he was burning off every minute. What to drink next and when? … he could leave that to Christian to wear his hat, which he did capably. His menu of questions du jour could not be answered by one man alone on this trek. He had to rely on his team, eventually on only one last team member, Christian.
And on and on it went. The physical pain became a cloaking mantle that hugged him daily, if weirdly. The excruciating mental pain—his toughest competitor – would never befriend him, although it languished within every part of his being, like some strange companion.
Alone on deserted highways, he continued from time to time to ask his God to keep him safe, and to keep his heart ticking.
Allow me to live this dream of making a difference for the people I am running for, single parents and children everywhere. Please, God, this is my plea.
Oddly, he never once thought himself a marathon runner. To him, he was more the lost dog bent on finding his way back home. Growing up as he did, nothing ever had come easy, save his stubbornness and his boundless desire to achieve whatever goals he dreamed up. On the roadways of The Run, that diligence of persistence had been and would be, tried again and again.
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