So there's this guy.
A Chicago policeman. A devoted husband and father. A Cubs fan
living in the heart of White Sox country. He has served honorably
in the U.S. military. He plays baseball with the neighborhood kids.
He's the son of a fireman. A brother of a paramedic. He is
universally described as a great fellow. A man's man. Someone who
will help out neighbors, friends, and strangers without thinking
He will help you unless of course you happen to be fleeing
arrest. In which case, you've got a long way to go before you can
outrun this guy. 26.2 miles to be exact. He's a 5-time marathon
runner. His wife is known to express some frustration over the
tattered pants he wears home as a result of giving chase to
criminals who hop fences and walls. He views it as all in a day's
work. The little extra marathon training is just a bonus.
Until last February. This guy was shot in the leg. By one of
those fleeing criminals. His wife got that scary phone call all
police officer's wives dread. His children had to learn at a very
young age that daddy's job is just that more dangerous than the
rest. His parents had 15 years shaved off their lives
Still. It's this guy. He needed to get back to
training. He needed to get back to chasing criminals. It's kind of
who he is.
Sure, there were some moments. With surgery, medical delays, and
lost training time, his dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon
this year was gone. It was disappointing. Many runners might have
even written 2011 off as a non-marathon year.
Not this guy.
So he started up again. Slowly at first. He carried a keychain
his brother the Marine had given him for inspiration. He found his
stride. He registered for the Chicago Marathon. But this time, he
had a greater cause. He decided to run for the Chicago Police
Memorial Foundation and raised close to $1,000 for families of
the fallen. According to the website, the foundation supports the
loved ones of officers killed both directly in the line of duty as
well as those who succumb to the extreme psychological stressors
and take their own lives.
Our guy completed the marathon in 3:36. He averaged slightly
over an 8-minute mile, despite having to walk several times due to
some cramping and muscle strain. His wife and I were able to spot
him at the 13 mile marker, and my only regret is we didn't get the
biggest most obnoxious sign we could find.
I know this guy doesn't run for accolades or awards. He doesn't
even seem to understand that running a marathon eight months after
getting shot is kind of a big deal. His wife jokes that he'll be
donating a kidney by December just to round off his year. That's
just how he rolls.
Whenever I have a bad week or begin to question whether people
are really capable of great things, I think of this guy. I think
you should, too.
For more information about the Chicago Police Memorial
Foundation, please visit http://www.cpdmemorial.org/.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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