Saucony #FindYourStrong Event

18 Apr

Friday night I had the opportunity to attend the #FindYourStrong event hosted by Saucony. If you have not heard of the Find Your Strong Project – watch this video. I get goosebumps every. single. time.

The event was held at the Boston Center for the Arts. Upon arrival we were greeted with some cool swag, a Find Your Strong bracelet, and 3 drink tickets!

FindYourStrong BraceletSaucony Swag

I met up with Veronica initially to head to the event where we met up with Amy, Dani (and her wife, Tori), and Nancy (and her friend Jill).

The event opened with the above video (goosebumps), and immediately went into a tribute to Micah True (aka Caballo Blanco). It was heart wrenching to watch, but so inspiring in the same sense. Caballo Blanco was an amazing man, who did amazing things. He will always be remembered. 

His friend, Luis Escobar, (who’s name may look familiar to you if you’ve read Born to Run) spoke about Caballo, about how he lived his life, and about the Copper Canyon Ultra Marathon. It was great to hear about Caballo from a friend, as he was supposed to speak at the event, but unfortunately passed away prior to it. A free spirit such as his should not have been taken from the world so early in life (he was 57) – he will be deeply missed in the running community.

Side note: {If you haven’t read Born to Run – do it. Seriously.}

Next speaker was the ever so hot Mark Herzlich. He does play for the Giants (blah) but we like him anyway (hehe). While he was attending college at Boston College he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) in his leg. Doctors told him he’d never run again, never play football again, and he’d be lucky if he was able to ever walk without a limp. His reply, “These doctors know cancer. They don’t know me.” He went on to tell us how he kept himself strong through chemotherapy and radiation by working out every single day. He concluded his story by telling us about the day that he was able to run through the tunnel and out on the field at Boston College and rejoin his team that had supported him through his cancer journey. That is STRONG.

After Mark we heard from Karen Smyers. She has seven national triathlon titles (six of those in a row), and she has won the Ironman World Championship in Kona. But not without some major setbacks. She suffered a sliced hamstring from a freak accident with a storm window, she got hit by an 18-wheeler while on a training ride, AND she suffered from thyroid cancer. Yet she still runs, bikes, swims, and competes. She doesn’t let anything stop her. Her motto is “Passion. Perseverance. Positive Attitude. Perspective.” You can’t argue with that. She is an amazing athlete, and I am truly inspired by her.

The final speaker of the night was Bill Rodgers. He has won both the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon 4 times each. But what’s even more impressive is how many times he’s stopped running a race.  He has 8 DNF’s (did not finish, if you don’t know…) to his name. EIGHT! A marathon WINNER has quit running a marathon 8 times. I got to talk to him a bit after the event, and he explained it. He said, (and I can’t quote but it was something to this effect) sometimes you just have to stop. For the sake of your body it’s not worth it to continue. Don’t risk injury just to finish – protect yourself, and stop. He told us about how he’d walked off the course in Boston, while being recorded by a news crew, and straight into a bar. It’s good to know that even elite athletes are truly as human as the rest of us, and enjoy that post-run beer (which was an ongoing theme in all of the talks!).

Me & Bill

I took so much away from this event. I spent the entire night with goosebumps on my body and a lump in my throat.

Perspective – Many times throughout this little leg injury of mine I’ve wanted to cry, bitch, moan, whine, and complain about only being able to run a couple of times a week, and only being able to run the half. This event – and these amazing speakers – really slapped reality in my face. It could be worse. It could be much worse. Never take what you can do for granted.

Reality – You never know what is going to happen in your life and when it is going to happen. Love, live, and dream. We only get one chance at this life.

Strength – Strength to persevere through my setbacks. Literal strength – to push myself harder, farther, and faster – to my limits, and to create new limits. I feel unstoppable (more on that and the two runs that followed this event in the days to come).

It’s already been almost a week and I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything I heard/learned at this event. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about it.

If you want to read about this event from other points of view check out Nancy’s post and Amy’s post.

Oh, AND, I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention. I also got to meet Dorothy, from Mile Posts. To me, she is real, true life inspiration. Not only because I “know” her (she’s also a FitFluential Ambassador) but because she is so down to earth, so sweet, so normal every day girl. If you don’t know who she is – watch the video again. See that face at the end? Yup, that’s Dorothy, and she’s bad ass.

I hope to have the opportunity to attend more events like this in the future!

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9 Responses to “Saucony #FindYourStrong Event”

  1. Run To Munch April 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    As of topic as Bill Rodgers presentation seemed, his talk of walking of the course definitely helped me in not feeling too bad for giving up running at mile 13.

  2. triing2survive April 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm #

    That sounds like an AMAZING event. I wish I could attend something like that. How incredibly inspiring.

  3. RunToTheFinish April 19, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    man I sooooo badly wished I was in Boston largely for this event! I am glad to hear it was as great as I thought it woudl be 🙂

  4. Heather Iacobacci (@hriacobacci) April 19, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    What an awesome event! I love your take-away perspective too. Being in the injury boat, I understand your feelings. I’ve definitely learned to just enjoy what I can – if it’s one run, if it’s half a mile, whatever it is. Appreciate it for what it is.

  5. Krissie J April 19, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    That sounds like such an awesome event! 🙂 Glad you had a good time with it!!

  6. jobo April 19, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    I love the newfound perspective this event gave you!!! And wow, 8 DNFs to his name? That is incredibly uplifting in a way, and a really good message. don’t finish and risk an injury. Just stop if it’s truly unbearable. Great post!! I wish I could have gone!

    • runcupcake April 19, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      It’s a great message, I’m so glad he shared it. I wish you were there too – it was so inspiring, you would’ve loved it!

  7. Jess Sutera April 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    love love LOVE all that you took away from this event – perspective and strength is HUGE on this crazy journey isn’t it?? So cool. I wish I got to go to this event with you!

    • runcupcake April 19, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      It really is. This pink bracelet isn’t leaving my body until it falls apart. I wish you were there too, you would’ve LOVED it!

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