The Monday Memo: 1/13/14

The Monday Memo

January 13, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Some things stop you dead in your tracks.  For me, it was this video.”

The Ironman Triathlon YouTube page posted a video entitled “The Most Inspiring Ironman Story of 2013” in Mid-December. The video chronicles triathlete Chris McDonnell’s road to the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.  There is a tremendous challenge for anyone racing at this or any level of triathlon, but McDonnell had an unfathomable barrier that stood in his not so recent past.  McDonnell and his family hailed from Sandy Hook, Connecticut, the site of an unimaginable tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School earlier this year.  The family’s daughter had been killed in that shooting.

In lieu of this insurmountable travesty, the video displays the family’s sense of courage, hope, and perseverance as they pressed along after their daughter’s death.  The Ironman championships in Kona represented far more than a race for McDonnell, it was a symbol of life and a fulfillment of a family’s goal.

How do we respond to challenges in our own lives?  Be they large or small, do we carry them as a burden or use them as fuel to carry on?  In the wake of an unforeseeable tragedy, the McDonnell’s remained resilient and brave, with the knowledge that the honor of their daughter stood in each breath they took, each move they made.  Chris McDonnell carried the spirit of his daughter through the finish line.

The Spirit of the McDonnell family teaches a valuable lesson in perseverance.

To dwell on tragedies, misfortunes, or stresses is to restrain ourselves from finding out what those hardships mean in a positive context.  In other words, there is a part in each adversity we face that inspires us to keep going, to keep a memory or a dream alive, or to achieve something great.  These same hardships in the end always inspire us to do more.  It’s how we face them and how we meet these challenges that dictates what we learn from them.  We could not find a better example than to look at Chris McDonnell and his quest to the Ironman World Championships.

As much as I try to analyze the story, it is best to watch for yourselves.  The video can be found below.

~Jeremy Harris


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January 13, 2014 |

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