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After blogging about San Diego Bay’s fireworks show I have been somewhat consumed with thinking about how we choose to view our life and the events, emotions and people in it. Two weeks after the fireworks show I was in Denver, Colorado for some business and had a few open hours, so I decided to go for a run up South Table Mountain in Golden, Colorado.

The weather was perfect as I began the difficult run up the rocky path to the top. The ascent was steep and I wasn’t more than 10 minutes into the run when I was gasping for breath. (The Denver altitude for this Arizona guy can prove difficult!) This was going to be a much harder run than the flat roads of Arizona. As I kept running and the pain kept on coming it was almost impossible to think of anything else other than breathing, watching the rocks on the path and ignoring the pain in my legs from the steep incline.

When I looked to the top of the mesa to see how much further I had to go, I witnessed someone who was going to have a profound effect on my week. A young man, (obviously a soldier) was finishing his run around the top of the mesa and was now heading back down and maneuvering the rocky downhill path on two prosthetic legs (the L shaped blades). I gasped in shock as I watched this guy run down the hill. As he passed me, I couldn’t do anything but stop, turn around and watch him run down the hill. The courage that radiated from this man caused me to literally start crying. I was overwhelmed with what he was doing, but even more overwhelmed and impressed with the type of man that he is. I stood there in awe and thought to myself, “It is the small decisions in life that we make every day that create our life and who we are.” Would I choose the courage that this man was choosing?

I wish I knew his story. I wish I knew how he lost his legs. I wish I knew how long it took him to muster the courage to pick up and go on. I wish I knew him so I could hear what his life has been like the past few years. This was the type of person I want to know and hang out with and have to my home for dinner. Why? I want to know how to instill that courage in my children, in the individuals I meet and work with. I want to know how I can have that type of courage without going through what he has gone through. I wonder if it is even possible?

What I saw this week was a hero. Heroes do walk among us—–and most of the time we don’t even know it. I was lucky enough to see this one.

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