Wednesday, October 1, 2014


"October.  And the trees are stripped bare, of all they wear.  What do I care?”

Autumn is a season of decay. The grass turns brown, the flowers wither, and the leaves fall off the trees. The bright warm days of summer are long gone. There is a chill in the air, a frost on the ground, and a foreboding sense that winter is right around the corner. Traditionally, this time of year is a melancholy one for me. As the weather gets colder, and the days get shorter, my thoughts turn darker – like the days ahead.

This year feels different, though. This year I feel hopeful. And, I’m not sure why.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a great year of training - it hasn’t been 100% perfect, but it’s been pretty darned close! Maybe it’s because I’ve run really well in the few races that I’ve done - not all my time goals were met, but I’m extremely happy with the results overall. Or, maybe it’s because I’m excited about finally doing my first 100 Mile Race, later this month – nervous, yes, but definitely excited!

All those things are true, and have made me very happy. But, I think that maybe the real reason I feel so good this October is because of what’s been happening at 100 Miles For Sam.

This time last year, I became aware of a remarkable young man named Sam Berns.  Sam was a junior at Foxboro High School, loved Legos, loved playing drums in his high school marching band and wanted to be a scientist when he grew up.  Sam also suffered from a rare disease known as Progeria.  But to see him, the word "suffer" would never even have entered your mind - facing his fatal disease with a strength and wisdom few adults will ever know.

In the HBO Documentary Life According to Sam his first words to us all were, "I didn't put myself in front of you so you could feel bad for me; I put myself in front of you to let you know you don't have to feel bad for me." 

Last October, I watched the whole documentary with my wife.  We both cried and hugged and thanked God all our children were healthy.  Afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking about how brave he was and how strong his parents were through all of this.  And, I vowed to do something to help.

So, I followed through on my promise that day and set up a fundraising website to benefit the Progeria Research Foundation.  And the response has been tremendous! People I know, and even a few that I don’t, have stepped up and donated in a way, and to a level, that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. And what’s more amazing, is the feeling that I get when I see people give. I knew that by doing this, I’d be helping kids and families dealing with Progeria. But, I never thought I’d be helping myself in the process!

I can actually feel the positive energy flowing from all those generous donors.  It’s like a wave of good Karma that’s been building. And I KNOW it will carry me across that finish line!

So yes, autumn is a time for decay. But, it is also a time for harvest. The seeds that were carefully planted in the spring, and lovingly nurtured through the summer, have grown strong and yielded a bountiful feast. For everyone.

And, I can’t wait to enjoy it!

“October.  And kingdoms rise.  And kingdoms fall.  But you go on...    and on...”

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