Since Monday afternoon at 2:45 pm, a steady stream of pictures, videos, and stories have poured out of Boston in the aftermath of two explosions that rocked our world.
Some pictures are horrific. Some videos are chaotic. Some stories are false.
Some pictures are inspirational. Some videos are courageous. Some stories are true.
The odds are good that you’ve seen the video or this iconic image of 78-yr-old marathoner, Bill Iffrig, who is a few feet away from completing his third Boston Marathon. With the finish line in view, Iffrig is rocked by the first explosion. His legs buckle and he crumples to the ground. The chaos begins and the smoke pours in.
But he gets back up.
He doesn’t stay down. He gets his bearings. A race official helps him to his feet and walks beside him for a bit. Someone offers him a wheelchair but he refuses. It is Iffrig who wills himself to walk the remaining 15 feet or so and finish the race. In an interview with HeraldNet, Iffrig explains why he finished.
After you’ve run 26 miles you’re not going to stop there.
I think that attitude is why Iffrig is a marathoner. It is the fighter spirit. It is the strong resolve that pushed him in the beginning to even run 10 miles. Then 20 miles. Then 26.2 miles. Iffrig has logged over 46,000 miles to date.
It is the inner strength that helped him get back up and finish the race.
I know people who have this inner strength. People who have been knocked to the ground by situations exploding around them. Health. Relationships. Careers. Religion.
But they get back up.
They don’t stay down. They take some time to get their bearings. Some friends or family help them to their feet and walk with them for a bit. Maybe people have offered them a wheelchair or crutch but they refuse. In the end, they will themselves to finish the race. Because after you’ve been through all that you’ve been through, you’re not going to stop there.
You get back up and finish.
Just like Iffrig, these people are inspirational. These people are courageous. These people are true.
These people are some of my heroes.