Thursday, February 7, 2013


The Fall of the Modern Day Sport Hero...

Growing up, Richard Petty (NASCAR), was the first sports hero I remember looking up to.  After that came a long line of modern sports hero who motivated me to push forward, whether during a pick up game of football or jumping bikes from dirt ramps.  There was Mike Phipps (The reason I'm a Cleveland Browns Fan), Evel Kenievel (Stunt Rider), Mary Decker, Bruce Jenner, the U.S. Hockey team (Olympians), and a long list of other Browns players.  Even as an adult, "the sports hero" although no longer a role model still provides motivation.  When my son was in little league, we both watched in wonder as Mark Mcquire began his home run streak, and then there was Lance Armstrong.

Enough has been said, written and blogged about doping.  I'm not going to rehash all the issues, I'm moving on from all that, but all the hype around "the fall" made me appreciate the struggles and triumphs of the local athletes.  With the birth/spread of blogs and social media I've been able to find motivation in fellow runners.

Steve Speirs aka @britishbulldog - Steve is one of the top male runners in his age group within the Virginia Beach running circles.  The first time I saw him at a race, I remember he was already on the come back loop before I hit the turn point, and by the way he was moving, it looked like he had alot left in the tank.  Steve is also the founder of the 100 Push-Up craze.  You can check out his blog here and the 100 Push-up site here.

Kris Lawrence aka @kris_law - Kris is another of the elite runners in the 757, I've never met her but via social media we have interacted and although an aspiring Olympian she always has time to answer my novice running questions.  Her goal is to drop ten minutes off her current marathon PR and qualify for the U.S. Olympic marathon team.  You can follow her Olympic dreams here.

Lisa Gonzales aka @runlikeacoyote - I've been a follower of Lisa's on Twitter for over a year and in that short time I have to admit, she inspires me and I'm jealous.  Lisa's has completely reshaped her life, she runs some of the coolest Ultra/Marathon races, she travels to many races I can only dream of running.  She runs and bikes to work daily and is racking up the yearly miles that Dean Karnases would be proud of.  BUT, on her 40th birthday weighing nearly 300 pounds, she decided to change some things.  And she hasn't looked back running 8 1/2 marathon, five marathons, two 50Ks, and one 12HR.  She is currently training for her first 100 miler.  You can follow Lisa as she runs like a coyote on her blog.

Ashley Ringo Walsh aka @ashruns100s - I've never met Ashley, tweeted her a few times and from her blog I can tell she would be fun to run with, if I could hang.  She describes herself as a East Coast trail runner, who has finished lots of ultras, (100 miles three times) and who plans to race that distance and further many more.  Ashley says, she runs because she loves it, she loves to feel pain, because it makes her feel alive.   But getting to this point has not been easy, Ashley has over come a early childhood accident and a few miss steps along the way. You can follow Ashley as she runs 100s and awesome trails here.

Krysten Siba Bishop aka @darwinianfail - Krysten's story is as she describes a long and complicated story, but the abridged version is that she was diagnosed with a rare arrhythmia and a family threat of breast cancer.  With all that Krysten has battled thru and still has a positive attitude and is committed to being the best she can be including running...she inspires me to capitalize on the gifts I've been given.  To quote Krysten,  "Fitness is also defined by adaptability, perseverance, and strength – and this is the definition I want used to define me."   You can follow her as battles her "Darwinian Fail" on her blog.

The headlines outline the fall of our national heroes, but locally you'll find inspiration in the local athlete.  The have jobs just like you, they tend to their kids just like you and many have over come challenges just like you.  And I've found that they are much more willing to help you reach your goals.

Part 2, coming soon.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, you are too kind!! Can't wait to run a race with you soon :) Thank you very much for mentioning me. You made my day!