Thursday, September 6, 2012

Paralympics Inspiration - Alex Zanardi and Brad Snyder

Well, if you've been reading the R's for long, you know that my sentimentality doesn't extend too far. I usually attend the "shut up, suck it up, and get running, Princess" School of running.

Hey, some people need to make things personal and mystical and magical, even when it comes to running. And some don't. Whatever it takes.

But once in a while even I can get caught up in the raw emotion of sport and the drive to compete.

In particular, a couple stories from the London Paralympics going on right now have really made me think.

Alex Zanardi, a former F1 race car driver and CART Champ, lost his legs in a horrific 2001 crash. Yet, here he is, competing in the Paralympics. Not just competing - fighting for the win. Never feeling sorry for himself and his circumstances - just driving for the finish line. An absolutely amazing story.

Then there's American Brad Snyder, who was blinded in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan last year. Now, just a year later, he's winning gold in the 100 meter Freestyle at the Paralympics. Incredible.

Few of us face challenges of the magnitude of the athletes at the Paralympics, but we still all do face small, medium, and even relatively large obstacles on our way to our goals, in running and in life.

Let's hope we can power our way past those obstacles with something resembling the courage and fortitude and bravery that Zanardi and Snyder have shown.

Photo from The Telegraph UK.

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