Don't Tell Me I Can't

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It's often said that winning isn't what defines us, but having the courage to push ourselves past the obstacles in our life that does. And Alison Delgado will be doing just that when she participates in the 2012 Flying Pig Marathon this coming Sunday in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Alison's story is featured in the June 2012 issue of Runner's World and chronicles her amazing journey from winning the 2005 Flying Pig Marathon to overcoming a traumatic head injury she suffered in a cycling accident back in October 2010 to finding herself toeing the starting line at the event she claimed to fame just seven years earlier. This weekend Alison, along with runners from across the country, will take part in the 2012 Flying Pig Marathon, her first marathon since that eventful day just 18 month earlier.

According to the article, Alison was allowed to return to running in March of 2011 and she has not stopped since. Putting in the same effort and diligence to her training that she did when she ran her first marathon in 2005 she will go show Cincinnati and the rest of the world that obstacles do not have to take us off course in our lives.

While I have not had the honor to meet this young lady, I did have the opportunity this past weekend to experience similar stories of those overcoming obstacles. I was blessed to participate in the Mini-Derby in Louisville, Kentucky along with of those raising funds for Team Reeve. This team raises money for The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation for spinal cord injury and paralysis research as well as providing resources for those needing assistance. It was difficult to miss the neon green shirts the team sported and if you had the chance like I did to stand behind a team member, than you were blessed to read the following words--

"For everyone who thought I couldn't do it...
For everyone who said I shouldn't do it..
For everyone who said I didn't have it in me...
See ya at the finish line!"

In all my races I have never participated in one where I noticed the Team Reeve participants. Not knowing too much about this charity, I proceeded to run my race. When I was done I found my SparkFriends who had also finished their race and we made our way to the Finish Line to cheer the participants on.

About 4 hours into the race we saw the walkers with the neon green Team Reeves shirts. At first I thought they were coming into the finish as a team, but after a second glance they were not only making their way to the finish line, but they were encouraging participants who had suffered a spinal cord injury to finish. To see someone struggle to walk 25 yards and NOT once did any of them give up, was beyond inspirational, it was a life-changing moment for me.

This moment taught me that anything is possible. We do not have to let the obstacles in our life keep us from living. We do not have to give up on living because we have been given a raw deal. We do not have to let all our hopes and dreams go because we have these obstacles. Instead we can go out and live our lives and follow our dreams even if we have to change the way we envisioned doing so.

For all the Alisons in the world and all the Team Reeve participants THANK YOU for allowing me and the rest of the world to experience the joy of overcoming obstacles.  So the next time you say, I can't, think about those who struggled to walk with guidance, crutches, splints and walkers and spending hours training for an event . As the running shirt I saw at the Expo the day before read--"Running slow is not a character flaw, but QUITTING IS!"

Do you like reading stories like this? Do you find they inspire you to do whatever you can do to move forward in your life?