What an experience. She asked for fifteen minutes of my time, and I was happy to talk about the marathon, why I was running it, and all about the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. I thought I knew what she was going to ask, what I was going to say, and how the entire interview would go.
I was wrong.
Once I started talking, it was like I opened a valve and everything inside my head just came rushing out. I talked about why I was running... this project to prepare me... and all that I have learned about myself along the way. And so much, more more. I'll save all the details, as the reporter is writing the story and I'll let her tell it as she chooses. But for me, one thing finally became clear. After an hour of talking, I was no longer unclear about what I was doing.
Action 454 - Find The Words To Explain It.
I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in October 2011 for myself. It was my challenge, to show myself that I could do it. And I met that challenge head-on. I ran the marathon, stood in the shadow of the Iwo Jima Memorial, and proudly clung to my Finisher's Medal as proof of what I had accomplished.
But this marathon is different. I am not running to prove something to myself. This time, I am running for others.
- I am running as a way to say thank you to the Marines in my life, my brothers and sisters, who reminded me back in June 2010 that I am an amazing person who has every reason to be happy. They were the mirror that showed me I deserved better, I deserved to be better, and gave me the spark I needed to turn my life around. Their friendship led me out of the darkness and literally saved my life.
- I am running to raise money for the Marines now served by the Semper Fi Fund. These are men and women who have sacrificed for this nation and now deserve all the assistance we can offer them as they return to a new life after the horrors of war.
- I am running to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives in service to a nation that does not always make its gratitude known. For a brief moment, on the streets of Pasadena, each of these Marines will be remembered. What they have given will be acknowledged, appreciated, and honored.
This marathon is my one opportunity to give something back to all the Marines who have given so much to me and for me.
And thank you, Logan Pollard, for giving me the opportunity today to sort all of this out in my head. Finding the words to explain how I feel has made this experience that much more important to me.