Forever Road


Queensboro Bridge. Halfway through the 2011 New York City Marathon is both where this entry was written, and where my race actually began. Nearly two months of ultrasound and countless hours of therapy weren't enough to convalesce my troubled hamstring; which unbeknownst to me was a precursor to a more severe, undetected infirmity. And with 12 miles -- or roughly 24,000 steps left to go -- the grand, lofty notion of taking just one more was in question. So I wrote this entry.

In as much time as it took a thousand runners to pass me by, I wrapped my leg in a makeshift tourniquet using stored gauze, and as many white flags as I could find in my heart. If there's one thing this most novice of runners quickly realized on that bridge, was that the next step was as necessary as the eventual stride that would be needed to cross the finish line. So this week, we'll run some of life's boroughs together.

Friends, life is simply a bridge. Work, school, money, health...all mere mile markers that remind us that we're in a race. And while we don't compete against one another, I think sometimes the most daunting of life's fights occurs when we're surrounded by fellow runners. Fellow runners who are - by nature - each hamstrung by something and fighting to turn another corner down Forever Road. Let's remember that each step is worth it if we know Who awaits us in the end.

- jimmy peña

RUNNING MAN: Nearly a decade later, I'm no runner. In fact, the day I crossed the finish line in the Big Apple was my little, grand finale. Of course, there was no press conference salute or retirement ceremony to mark the moment, but a frail fighter had met his match; a limit that only a handful of surgeries would justify. My tip of a cap to the ability to run - something to which most don't give a second thought - was my silent bow. And although the gift of being able to absorb the glorious pounding of the pavement I have not, what I still have is a miracle; a wonder; a symphony; an instantaneous explosion of grace.

That's why I'm so excited to be able to officially announce the PrayFit 5K; a local and virtual run to benefit kids affected by disability. The good news is we don't have to be able to run in order to help. I'm asking, pleading and begging for you to join me from wherever you are. Walk it, ride it, lift it, and run it if you can.

And cover your ears, but on April 14th - although I'm not supposed to - I will be running a 5K for Jordan, for Eric and for countless other kids with special needs. They may not understand why we're doing it, but they need a place to play, some safety measures and adequate restroom facilities.

This week as we hit some of life's boroughs together, please consider helping me in this effort. For those that don't live in Los Angeles, I'm looking for 500 people to run this race virtually. Will you be one of them? I hope so. Please tell your best friend, mention it to a neighbor and alert your family that we're doing something at PrayFit for those less fortunate and that you're going to help us cross that bridge. 

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