Miles for the Travis Mills Foundation
Today, being memorial day, I decided to return back to Augusta Maine, to take part in a fundraising event. Retired SSG Travis Mills, is a wounded warrior. His story is that he was in Afghanistan and was blown up by a roadside bomb. He lost both arms, and both legs. He didn’t let this hold him back though.. he triumphed and has had what I would call a fantastic recovery. He has prosthetics, which he uses very well. His wife is super supportive of him and all that he has accomplished since his injuries. He has a foundation for wounded injured and wounded veterans. You can read more about Travis on his website, TravisMills.Org .
I left the house early and drove south for the race. Now mind you, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of running yet this year. A few mins, here and there, which doesn’t really feel like a lot. I had strict orders to not run too much and to take it easy today. The weather was perfect, blue sky, and it was 70ish by the time we got started at 8:30am. The sun made it hot very quickly, but no one seemed to mind. Lots of smiles and happy dog tails everywhere. Travis spoke briefly before the race, and we paused for the Star Spangled Banner, then we went to line up. It always seems like the waiting before a race takes forever…
I situated myself towards the back. Since my plan was to start off walking, I didn’t want to get in the way of other runners. There were plenty of people walking, so I felt good with my choice. Travis even ran a little bit too. Determination, Pride, Character… all of these words describe the man. So many times we whine about having to go out for a run when its hot, or its raining, or snowing.. and this guy sees it as a blessing that he can take those steps on his new legs, and run. Very inspiring.
The first part of the race goes up an incline in front of the school. If you haven’t warmed up prior to the race, this will definitely get your blood moving! I talked with people along the way, and everyone was saying what a great day it was weather-wise. I ran a bit, and felt good, so I kept on going. I took advantage of the downhills, but ran up some too. I even finished the race with negative splits! Not my best time, but it’s the start of my comeback from being injured. I’m never going to gain strength if I always take the easy way out. I have gained some weight over the last six months. So now, getting back on track is even harder. I am determined though, and if I ever want to run another marathon, I am going to have to buckle down and do it. If Travis can learn to walk again, and use prosthetic arms, I can run. Plain and simple.
I got to see a dear friend Harold Shaw, at the race. We bump into each other every now and then at races, and it’s always great to see a familiar face in the crowd, and have someone to talk to before the race. It certainly helps to take away the jitters!
His race pictures came out great. Mine, not so much. hahaha The only one I will share is this one. I have a totally disgusted look on my face because I looked up and saw that the camera caught me walking. hahaha.. I always try to be running when I see the camera’s… oh well… 😉