While strolling along the bike path with a friend we met a well-fit white-haired man with a marine label on his shirt and hat showing his pride for being a veteran. His grin went from ear to ear as he said, “Hello ladies! It looks like I am going the wrong way. I would turn around and join you but I have many miles to still put in for the day.”
He gained our curiosity and as we urged him to share more, he began explaining how he ran his first marathon after his wife died at 80 years old.
His doctor recently told him after having knee surgery he should let his knee heal and shouldn’t do any more marathons. That was not stopping him. He could outrun his young Doctor. He had a goal of running in the New Mexico Death Run this year even though eight people had died in that race in years past. He was proud he would be 86 at the time of the race.
As he shared his story, he also took pride in never cheating on his wife for the 54 years three months and two days he was married to her. You could still see the love for her in his eyes. Now he was looking for companionship and was thinking about his 83-year-old lady friend he recently saw. He went on to explain how he and his wife had been friends with her and her husband. Yet her husband had passed some time ago. He had been surprised to hear his friend had been a bit of a womanizer, yet he felt comforted in the idea of being able to be a good man to her.
He had a smile on his face and said, “I think I am going to call her today.” It was obvious he was tickled of the thought of having a girlfriend companion again. After all, it will soon be six years since his wife passed.
He had nothing but the look of joy on his face sharing his story with two women on the bike path half his age. Little did he realize what an inspiration he was to those two women. No matter the miles, the years, or the sacrifices, remember it is never too late to start running your race.
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