Posted by: David D. Daggett | September 21, 2009

Angels

Angels

     Do you believe in angels? I think I have always believed in angels, and hoped at the possibility that they really exist. Now, I know there are angels!  This past weekend angels revealed themselves to me at the Angels Race Triathlon.

An angel – with Beth Groover

The Angels Race was started after a young lady named Brittany Groover tragically died in a car accident in 2002. The Angels Race and Angels Foundation was founded with a two-fold mission. First, create opportunities for individuals to honor angels who have touched their lives. And, second, to encourage people to be angels in the lives of others.

After I crossed the finish line, I returned with two of my children to continue to cheer in the finishers. I was moved by a volunteer who was working about 50 yards from the finish line. She passionately and whole heartedly directed and cheered for each and every finisher that came by.  Like so many special volunteers I have crossed paths with over the years, she touched my heart before we even met.

During a slight break in the action we struck up a conversation. She introduced herself to me as Beth Groover, the mother of Brittany. She looked at me with both a sparkle and a tear in her eyes simply saying “It is great to see something positive come of something so tragic.”

Touching people through sports provides a tangible avenue of connection. Many people use this race to make a positive difference in their own lives. The stories ranged from families who had lost young children, to the very last finisher whose goal is to lose 100 pounds in 12 months. They are all special.  You never know when there may be opportunities to make a positive difference.

Over the years I have had many emotions and feelings come from races. I have raced everything from small local events to the World Championships in Hawaii, and many of the same thoughts and feelings repeat themselves. One of the most amazing aspects of these events is that every athlete involved is a winner. Every participant from the one crossing the finish line first to the one crossing it last is treated as a winner. I honestly do not know of any other sort of events where this is the case.

The Angels Race had so many different stories. Under the leadership of local triathlete Mick Gunter and his beautiful family, the race was orchestrated and executed very well. It was inspiring and moving watching all the different families and their motivations, some of which were by life changing events. It seemed everyone had a reason for participating.

It’s the same way in life. We need to help and recognize each other for their efforts, and for what they have done and been through. We all need to find and thank our angels, as well as being angels to others. Somehow that crazy sport of triathlon continues to be a living metaphor from which we all can continue to learn and be inspired.

Be Someone’s Angel,

David

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