What an inspiration Terry Hitchcock is. I had the pleasure of seeing his documentary, My Run, last night and it was certainly worth every minute. It’s not uncommon to suffer from a little running burn out at some point in your running career and while i firmly believe you have to dig deep within yourself to find that lost motivation, i also believe that watching a film like My Run is certain to give you a little boost you’re needing.
A little background information on Terry Hitchcock- he was a 56 year old non- runner when he set out to do the impossible. He had lost his wife and best friend to breast cancer 12 years earlier and was battling the stresses and depression that often come with being a single parent. While he was doing his best to parent and be strong for his children, he was also devastated from the loss of his sweet Sue. He went from being a family of 5 to a single parent father with 3 children. He felt the need to bring awareness to the financial and emotional hardships suffered by single parent and their children.
Terry knew he needed the attention of the media in order to really spread the word so, as he battled with how best to do this, he was reminded of his hero, Terry Fox, who set out to run across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer. (You can read more about Terry Fox here- he has an amazing story- very worth the minute it will take to read his bio – http://www.terryfox.org/Foundation/index.html ) Terry Hitchcock, after much contemplating, decided he would run from his home town in Minnesota to the olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia. In order to do so this meant he would run an average of 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days.
Imagine a non-runner, 56 year old man with blood pressure problems setting out to do the impossible. He says in the movie that “there were no good days, only good moments.” Pretty amazing that he stuck with it. He rain in the cold, the rain, the heat….whatever was thrown his way. He thought every day of quitting. His body was not cut out for this type of strain. During the 75 days, he suffered heart issues, heat exhaustion, stress fractures in each ankle, and a stress fracture in one knee. He still didn’t give up because what he did have was his mental toughness. He ran over 2000 miles in 75 days, almost every mile alone. He went through towns that had never heard of him and had no support and he went through towns where people went out in the street just to give him a hug for what he was doing for the single parent families out there. He took each run day by day. He doubted his ability each day but, at the end of each day, he had accomplished the impossible, yet again.
Terry says that each and every run was a mental run. Although it is also physical, he quickly learned that the runs are predominately mental. The mental fortitude you must have in order to talk yourself out of the dark moments, talk yourself into getting out into the bad weather, and talk yourself into simply putting one foot in front of the other is more than any physical strength you have. You can always talk yourself out of doing something but can you talk your self into doing something?
Terry found much of his strength from those children who are suffering hardships in single parent families, from his friends and family, and from his late wife. He may not be his own hero but he is somebody’s. If running for yourself isn’t enough, run for someone else. In the words of Terry Hitchcock, “be somebody’s hero.”