My husband Jack and I met on May 1st 2010 after a Wounded Warrior Project 100 mile bike ride. At the time I wasn't much of an athlete, but a friend of mine had asked me to do the last 25 miles of the race with her. So I joined the group of cyclists. Jack and I met at the after-party event. It was love at first sight. We've been together ever since.
Jack served his country in the U.S. Army and was deployed twice, once to Iraq and Afghanistan. While on his second deployment in Afghanistan, an RPG struck the vehicle he was in and Jack lost his right leg.
When we met it had been almost one year since he lost his leg. His Alive Day, or day he almost died, but was rescued is May 28th. We celebrate it every year.
Jack is the reason I run. He inspires me to push my limits, live for every moment and run because it is a gift. I wouldn't be who I am as a runner, if it weren't for him.
After we met, Jack inspired me to start training for a marathon. He was there for my first finish and he has been there for all 20 marathons and 4 ultra-marathon finishes (and most of my smaller distance races). When I told him I wanted to travel all over the world to run races, he said he'd always be by my side. He inspires and encourages me. He always reminds me "You don't have to run, you get to run." He is also my biggest cheerleader.
I think sometimes he probably walks just as much as I run during a race, just so he can see me at multiple locations along my marathon course. He is always shouting and cheering. I couldn't do it without him.
On May 22nd my husband will be part of a very special event. Former President George W Bush painted a portrait of Jack and it was featured in his newly released book 'Portraits of Courage'. His painting will be featured, along with all the other ones he painted, in an event at the Bush Library in Dallas.The picture Mr George W. Bush painted was of my husband Jack golfing with a buddy of his. Golf is a new sport that Jack has picked up since being injured and has excelled at. And just like he is there for me when I run, I am his biggest supporter, fan and personal caddie :)
This Friday weekend (May 26th) is always special to us because it is his Alive Day weekend. So I wanted to tell you about the inspiration behind my running.