A Champion………….

The sun sinks lower in the west over this lovely Idaho town. The coffee shop is quiet and yet my mind is full of chatter.  I do not actively seek out family or friends of those we have lost in Afghanistan however I made an exception today. Maybe it was to remind me of why. Why do what I am doing? Maybe its to hear firsthand how someone touched the lives of those around them while they were here.

Jake Plummer took the time out of his day to sit with me and to write the name of his close friend Army Corporal Pat Tillman on a yellow ribbon that will go on Flag #126.. They were both teammates throughout college and the NFL and I asked Jake what it was he remembered most about his friend. “He was a champion” a term that Tillman himself used to describe those that he was thoroughly impressed by, was the one Plummer used to describe his friend. Pat Tillman had a way of showing his genuine concern,interest and care for his friends. As Jake talked about him I could see the light in his eyes as he talked about the gift of knowing someone like Tillman. People said Pat was to small, to slow to be an NFL player. He listened and it drove him to succeed. People discouraged me from running. “You will never win anything.” “Your wasting my time” a coach once said. “We don’t want you” said the Army. I listened also and it has driven me. The negative was our positive.  He told me that Pat Tillman would have called me a champion. Not that I sought such approval but hearing it made me feel good. Made me feel like he was listening, watching somewhere over us…. I feel a lot closer now. Closer to the day I begin this last journey. Closer to the names I will remember. Closer to leaving more to this world than I have taken. The gift of generosity, from the heart, is a great gift to spread and maybe just maybe if  we can be generous in this world, with our time and our actions then we too, can also be champions.

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3 Responses to “A Champion………….”

  1. Lori Says:

    Believe it or not I believe they are all watching over you….
    I know he guys and gals were with you when you started your first run and they will be there again.

  2. John Holland Says:

    Great post, Mike. You may not “actively seek out family or friends of those we have lost in Afghanistan” but they are out there with you, as are the guys we lost. Looking forward to seeing you in Wisconsin!

  3. boaz Says:

    This is such an amazing entry. There is so much going into this run. The people that you are meeting and the amazing conversations you must be having.

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