Last Sunday morning, 10 students from Andrew's University in Michigan checked into the ORRRC Marathon/Half Marathon, pinned on their racing numbers, laced up their shoes and set out on their respective 26.2 and 13.1 mile journeys.
They had trained mentally and physically for weeks and now was their time to shine. But instead of bragging about their personal accomplishments, they were beaming with the joy of having helped others.
But to say they were simply helping those in need is too modest - they raised enough money to provide 10 children with limb disabilities in the developing world with the free orthopedic care they need to gain or regain their mobility. These are children who have been involved in traumatic accidents or suffer from congenital limb disabilities whose families cannot afford the prosthetic limb, orthotic device or rehabilitative care that they need to be able to walk on their own.
As Marga clearly sees in her education every day, mobility is so much bigger than just walking. It's about self-esteem, the ability to care for ones self independently and the physical ability to get to and from school each day. By running, each of the 10 athletes were reminded with every step how important the work they were doing is - and in the end, despite the sweat and exhaustion, it was worth it.