Last night I attended the Saucony “Find Your Strong” event at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. When I first got there, I was welcomed by a this shoe heaven. The new Kinvara 3′s were featured. I tried them on and gave them a whirl. I’m looking forward to transitioning into these shoes!
After meeting up with some fellow Cambridge Running Club members, we headed in and received a free Cliff bar and some water. We hung around for a bit by the Kinvara wall before the speakers started.
The attractive, Mark Herzlich was the first of inspirational speakers. He had told of his story of how he worked his butt off to become a great football player at BC and now in the NFL.
But it wasn’t always easy for him. When he first showed up to practice at BC, he couldn’t even get back 3 of many drills they had to do for running. One of the senior guys came over and picked Mark up with one hand (And Mark isn’t a small guy) and said something to the extent, “Freshman, you go home and don’t let this happen again.” Mark decided he wanted to come in first by the end of the year for the running drills. So he found his strong inside him and worked really hard. And you know what, he came in first!
Then Mark came into a setback. He was diagnosed with cancer on his femur at the age of 21 and was told “You may never be able to run again or play football.” He wasn’t going to let someone tell him that. He found his strong with the help of his family, friends and team. It gives me chills thinking of how amazing Mark is to push through all of that.
Following Mark was Karen Smyers, a professional triathlete. Her motto was the three P’s: Perseverance, Passion and Positive attitude! She told a few stories that showed why and how she uses these 3P’s.
Karen started with a story about how she failed swim class. But her mom told her,”Just go again next week and pass. You aren’t failing if you keep trying.” I loved this story. You may not get your goal time this race, but there is always another race. It’s easier said than done sometimes, but if you just stop trying then you never will reach your goal!
In the beginning of Karen’s career, she was racing and wasn’t doing as well as she had thought she would. She though, “Maybe I’m not made to compete in triathlons.” She was about ready to give up. She decided that she would finish this race and then it would be her last tri. All of a sudden when she stopped worrying about how she was doing and started to enjoy herself and the sport, she started to succeed. She placed in that race and decided, “You know what, I love triathlons!”
With the weather forecast for Monday, I especially enjoyed Karen’s story about how she was competing in a race and was miserable because of the heat. All she could think of was how hot she was and looked like she was not enjoying herself. Her friend had seen her, and then he had said, “Karen, you gotta want it!” Then she realized her negative attitude was not getting her anywhere. She started to think positively and then it all came together…she WON that race!
Getting to where she was wasn’t always easy as pie. Karen had been hit by an 18 wheeler while out on the bike, which might cause some people to not want to get out on the bike again. But her passion for the triathlon inspired her to find her strong and train her butt off after her recovery to get back into competing. She wasn’t going to let an accident get in the way of something she loved to do.
Karen also had an accident where she had slashed her hamstring when some glass had broken and fell onto her leg. But she made the best out of the situation and as she said, “I knew there was one thing I didn’t need my hamstring for…” And then she had her first child!
One of the worst things then hit her life. Karen had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the same time she had a broken collar bone! She still competed in one of her races and then used the recovery time for both her cancer and collar bone to spend some time making her second child!
Karen’s passion, perseverance, and positive attitude impress me so much and inspire me to live by her example! She did highly recommend if you can combine your sport and job together, you should definitely do that! Maybe I can get struck by the speed god and start training with Kara Goucher!
Last up was Bill Rogers, 4 time Boston Marathon winner. He was talking about his Boston Marathon experiences. He said he made the infamous mistake of going out too fast and gassed out. He had to stop many times at Heartbreak hill and he even left one time when he was being filmed. His stories and personality made the crowd break out into laughter. I hope I don’t follow by his example stopping at Heartbreak hill!
I was so glad I went to this event. This event got me pumped up for Boston Marathon and also inspired me to try harder for my goal of a 3:00 marathon someday. If I work hard enough maybe I can achieve this goal. If not, I am at least not quitting!
Find your strong!
What inspires you?