When this gets published—and when you read it—I’ll be volunteering at an Ultra X event in Wales, taking care of a few fantastic people who are taking on the 250 km long challenge. Not everybody will probably finish this five-day run but that doesn’t mean they’ll stop. Things happen that can slow one’s progress, setbacks put a temporary stop on their way to achieving their dreams But none will stop.
In regards to that thought, I’d like to introduce three athletes I had the great pleasure of interviewing last month and share their stories. Mike, Ashley, and Sagirah all took on and didn’t finish their marathons. That, however, didn’t mean they stopped. This year at the San Francisco Marathon, they took on the Degree Challenge and ran to finish their unfinished business.
Below are links to their stories that I wrote for the San Francisco Marathon. I hope they’ll bring encouragement and a bit of wonder into your day, just like talking with these athletes did for me.
Please note: some of the article headlines/subheadlines were edited/changed/added to satisfy the SEO gods. Please excuse the constant repetitions or slightly annoying/nonsensical results that were produced by this step.
“JUST KEEP PUSHING:” HOW MIKE ZAMPELLA KEPT RUNNING IN A WORLD OF DARKNESS
Micheal Zampella has always loved sports. From soccer to hockey to judo to lacrosse, he knew he wanted to keep moving, no matter what. When retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease, started to take away his vision, he thought he was done for. However, Zampella refused to give up. Instead, he started running through the darkness, finding specs of light in that new and scary world.
ALTRUISM: HOW MARATHONER ASHLEY ZIRKLE CHANGED A LIFE
“You can keep going until you’re done,” says Ashley Zirkle, a Florida-born, Seattle-based marathon runner who donated a kidney to change the life of a complete stranger. “You’re doing great. Just continue to put one foot in front of the other because you’ve got this.”
Altruism is the highest form of selflessness. It’s a concern for the well-being of other people and/or animals that goes beyond everyday goodwill. This is the story of Degree’s Not Yet Marathoner Ashley Zirkle, one filled with running, yet-to-be-accomplished goals, and life-changing kindness.
“REDEMPTION IS ALWAYS NICE:” HOW SAGIRAH AHMED NORRIS RECONCILED MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND MARATHON RUNNING
Sagirah Ahmed Norris is no stranger to running marathons. She’s done the Disney Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, and even the Boston Marathon. Even though she said that she couldn’t really count Disney because of the nature of the event, it was there when she first conquered the 26.2 distance and started calling herself a marathoner. Norris is also no stranger to overcoming obstacles: in this case, not only the marathon distance but multiple sclerosis, her forever companion.
I hope you’re having a great week! I’ll do my best to get something to you next week, too, but I can’t make any promises; from Wales, I’m heading directly back to Slovenia and it’ll be another busy week.
Till we meet (again)!