U.S. Veteran Finds The Proper Motivation to Finish The Race

Every day in this country about twenty two U.S. veterans commit suicide.

Many of these veterans suffer from PTSD and Survivor’s Guilt. Micah Herndon  is one of those veterans. As a marine, Herndon was on patrol in Afghanistan when An I.E.D. exploded underneath his vehicle. Herndon survived, but three of his fellow comrades did not.

Herndon decided to channel PTSD into something positive. This something positive is running. Herndon ran his third marathon last week. He was running well too. However, when he reached the 20 mile mark, his right leg gave out. When he hit mile mark 22, his left leg gave out. Like a solider, he continued on. With the finish line in sight, Herndon’s legs simply could not take another step. He hit his knees and began crawling. He finished that way, crawling across the finish line. It took him 33 minutes to complete the last mile.

One might ask, why would one person go through this turmoil? Why not just quit? The answer for Herndon is simple. The answer is fellow Marines Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and British journalist Rupert Hamer. He said their names over and over throughout the marathon. These are the men who died in his vehicle when that I.E.D. exploded.

“I couldn’t lift my legs up anymore. They couldn’t move forward,” Herndon said. “I wasn’t just going to sit there and let people carry me and quit. Not through the toughest times of that race did quitting enter my mind. I started the race by myself; I was going to finish it by myself.” Herndon knew that the pain he felt that day was nothing compared to the pain that his friends felt on their last day.

Joe’s Perspective: Have you ever hit the wall physically? That’s when your body seizes up and you just can’t move. Everything in your body is telling you that you can’t do it. At that point, it really is just mind over matter. To succeed at this point, you have to really want it. You have to have something that inspires you more than the pain coursing through your body. Not many of us have that type of motivation. Herndon is the exception. A veteran running for his fallen comrades provides more motivation than most of us could ever imagine.

Your Turn: Have you ever physically hit the wall physically? If so, did you have the proper motivation to overcome? What was that motivation?

Comments 16

    1. He did not want to give up he worked hard enough and he didn’t want to just work hard for nothing so he finished the race with the hard work he put in

  1. His determination is inspiring to all athletes and he should be looked up to in the athletic community las someone who never stopped trying.

  2. One day, the date I can’t remember anymore, I was running at a cross country meet and started out to fast for my own good. Towards the end of the race, me legs felt as if they weren’t there and I wanted so badly to fall down and give up going up the last major hill on the course. However, when I got to the top, I didn’t fall down or stop, I kept going and ended up finishing the race. The only reason, that I can remember, that I didn’t fall was the motivation of all the people cheering on for me. The people cheering me on told me that I could finish the race. I know that humans must have limits, but it is sometimes really hard to find them. And the is what makes me strive for perfection or something close to it.

  3. Micah was determined to finish his race even when he didn’t think he could, I think this article shows all younger people and/or teens that just when u get down on yourself it doesn’t mean u can give up!

  4. The determination will power that Herron displayed is inspiring to other athletes and proved that no matter how much pain one is in there is a way to finish the race and go on.

  5. What a determined person! I love how even if his friends didn’t make it through he managed to turn something bad happened to him into a positive person in many ways. Good for him!

  6. This man decided to pursue no matter the pain/circumstances. I hope when I grow up I have this much determination to finish what I start no matter what others or my mind may say.

  7. I have never experienced as much pain in sports that Herdon experienced in this race but there have been times when I think I can’t do it anymore but I have to keep fighting. This type of feeling is usually something I get in track. For example whenever I run the 400m race. I start out way to fast and it’s hard for me to come back in the end. The last 100m of the race is purely mental. You really do have to push yourself to go faster. Sometimes you wonder why your body isn’t moving faster because you are telling it to but it physically can not go faster. I did have the proper motivation to finish. First of all, I think I would be too embarrassed to give p and also giving up just is not something I could be proud of. Also, I get mad when I see other people beating me and this motivates me to sprint to the end.

  8. Yes. During the spring when I play both volleyball and soccer at the same time it gets exhausting. My motivation to push through is the fact that if I work hard I can be great at both sports.

  9. I have never experienced pain like Herndon did when he was running, but when I hit a wall running sprints at practice, I tell myself the what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that pushing through the pain will only make you stronger for the future. I overcome this fear by thinking about what my parents have been through, and how they are still always there for me, and that pushes me through my hard times.

  10. Running has always not ben my strength and when I have to run long distances, I feel sick as though I will fall over and not make it. However, I just remember in my head that one step in front of the other until I am done.

  11. I’ve hit the wall physically with tennis a number of times. It seems that whenever I overcome a challenge, a new one instantly shows itself. It is through perseverance and love for the sport that has kept me going for the past two years.

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