Last year when I turned 49 I decide that I was going to run a race when I turned 50. That goal was completed before I turned 50. It has been a journey and a personal thing. Last year in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could do a major accomplishment by running a 5k. A 5k I will never forget. The Tunnel to Towers 5k run/walk. This race was started by the Stephen Siller Foundation. Stephen Siller was a firefighter who ran from Brooklyn through the Battery Tunnel with his gear on to help people who were caught in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Stephen Siller died that day. This race is in memory of him, NYFD, NYPD, Miltary and First Responders.
My journey has been a long one. Almost a whole year of training for something that I put my heart and soul into. Sometimes giving up when things were hard, especially when I couldn't meet my goal for the day. I was being hard on myself because I never thought I would make my goal and achieve a personal victory. I have tried to run for years but always gave up on myself. I never pushed myself because it is easier to quit than to keep on going.
I did this race not only because of a goal and a personal journey. I have been personally affected by 9/11. I was one of the last two people to see PO Perry that morning who came to my office to retire. He joked around with me and another co worker saying the paperwork was hot off the press to retire. We laughed for a while and then he left. The first plane hit the first tower. From what I learn PO Perry ran from our building which is about 3 or four blocks from the World Trade Center on an angle. I never saw him again. He died that day. Instead of thinking of himself and retirement, he thought of others who needed help. A true hero. A person who sacrificed everything for the call of the job. I will never forget him and that day.
The Tunnel to Towers run itself also effected
me. I saw many wounded warriors. Men and women who risk their lives at war. Those members of the military who lost limbs, in wheel chairs who can't walk. I saw flags off firefighters who died on 9/11. I saw family member of people who died that horrible day. All of them inspired me and touched me. It is easier to see it on tv then to deal with it in person. The only thing I could say was Thank You with a handshake or a a pat on the back of the vets. This made me wipe tears from my eyes and was life changing. The change was not to take things for granted, enjoy life, and continue to appreciate what I have.
Who knows what my next personal journey will be, will be be a long journey or a short journey. Will I succeed or will I fail? Who knows but I am ready.