No Pain, No Gain: The Story of an Encounter With One of the Most Passionate Runners I've Seen
Fittingly, this story begins with a race. My name is Landon and I am an Event Manager for Tristate Racer. Today, I had the privelage of timing the Third Annual Macey Whittaker SIDS Awareness 5k Run/Walk (which all of the proceeds were deigned to go towards sleeping sacks for children). All of the people were a dream to work with, which at this point, I'll give a quick shoutout to Melissa Ellison, the race's amazing Race Director who really made this even wonderful, laid back, and fun through her warm personality. So, as I do for any race that I time, my assistant, Mackenzie Lloyd, and I were setting up the start/finish line, playing music, making announcements, etc.
At this point, I had just finished configuring all of the network hoops of fire to make Chip Timing possible for this event. As I was about to grab a spare bib (w/ chip) to give the system a beta run (to REALLY fool-proof it), I saw a man (who was a runner of the race) warming up near my set-up site. As humans, I like to think that we should invlove everyone and share in experiences and make memories from them. To be fully engaged in whatever event or activity you are doing is a MUST. So, in a spur of the moment, I asked the man if HE would be my first official beta run for the system. In a flash, he said "Yeah, sure!" From here, we ran to the finish line together, and to be honest, even though we were just jogging, I could tell he was in much better shape than me. After we crossed the finish line, I had him follow me over to my computer to see if the system read his bib correctly. To our joy, it was flawless. Naturally, we started chatting about the race, his questions about the system, and other things. In our conversation, he told me that, JUST YESTERDAY, he ran in a 5k in Morgantown, WV. If I wasn't impressed enough already, he continued to tell me that he suffers from Plantar Faciitis. This is a disorder that is charecterized by intense pain in the heel and in the bottom of the foot. Needless to say, I was blown away.
All the while, I kept trying to wrap my mind around how someone with so much pain and adversity could, seemlessly, overcome it. The answer was simple. He loved to run, and there was nothing that was going to stop him. The name of the game is PASSION. And the name of this man is Kendall Messer - who is a joy to talk to, by the way. Kendall reminded me that no matter how much pain you are in, how much adversity you face, or how hard things can be sometimes, if you are passionate enough about what you want to do, then you can do it.
As a conclusion to this story, I think anyone under the sun could use a good dose of this attitude. It doesn't matter whether you are pushing through pain to run a race or whether you are struggling with something entirelly different - if you are passionate enough about something, then you can acheive greatness. So, kudos to you Kendall for being a great inspiration and an amazing human being.