Sunday, April 21, 2013

Practice Courage

When I wake up every morning I look at a sign posted above my mirror.  This sign says ‘what if we practiced courage every single day?’  I like this quote because we often do not consider the courage it takes for some people to just live their daily lives.  As an elite athlete it takes courage to believe in a dream that only a select few will ever accomplish.  It takes courage to put your life on hold and risk not being delivered the result you desire.  It takes courage to overcome the fear of failing.  And as everyone cheering at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday learned, it also takes courage to jump into the fire when everyone is running out.   

As the runners of the Boston Marathon huddled up preparing to start their race many friends and family stood to celebrate the courage it took each of these athletes to set out to accomplish a goal.  I am sure they did not know that when they woke up that morning they would also be practicing courage. 

Carlos Arrendondo’s story, to me, is one of the more touching examples of humanity.  Carlos, a Costa Rican immigrant who himself fought for his own life 8 years ago, had the courage to overcome any fear he may have had for his own well-being and jumped into action.  He helped tear down fences and barricades at the Boston Marathon.  His efforts allowed emergency responders access to many of the victims and then he himself turned into a medical provider helping save the life of a perfect stranger.

This is just one many stories of people acting with valor and courage.  When a country and a community goes through a tragic event athletics is an avenue that brings people together and also brings hope and happiness.  This is why I love sports so much.  It is a way people can relate and hope can be brought to a community and nation when it is in need.  The Boston Red Soxs played more than just a game at Fenway Park on Friday night.  They courageously took the field and played for an entire town and country in mourning.  They played for every single person affected by the tragic events on Monday. 
Carlos and the Red Sox showed courage in their own ways, but for some people courage is simply getting out of bed in the morning.  It is not the magnitude of the event that determines a courageous person, but instead it is a matter of seizing an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and do the unexpected.