Marathons are brutal. They’re basically the ultimate test of endurance, crazy Iron Man shiz aside, and the mere thought of running more than 26 miles makes me want to throw up without taking a single stride.
So we’ve got nothing but respect for former Marine Jose Luis Sanchez, who overcame a leg amputation and completed the Boston Marathon while waving the American flag.
Then Staff Sergeant Sanchez trod on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2011. He admits the incident sent him spiraling into depression. But on his return to the US, he was sent an American flag signed by people in all of the cities that the Marine made a difference.
It took time to face the flag
The weird thing was he didn’t take it out the packaging for a good, long while.
“I received this package of flag that was wrapped up and had a bunch of notes in it but I never wanted to read it, I never wanted to acknowledge it,” he told WBZ.
“Then five years later I opened it up and I read the stories and the inspiration which they wrote for me to get well, to get better. Instead of putting it away I wanted to fly the flag again in their honor; for everyone’s sacrifices, and it wasn’t for me, it’s for everyone that’s here fighting day in day out.
“So I’ve learned that throughout being angry, frustrated with all that PTSD, I’m channeling it to something positive to give back whatever I’ve taken away from the community.”
It was enough to bring Sanchez out of his deep funk and he set his sights on a new goal: competing in a marathon.
How long did it take to run the marathon?
The time it took is borderline irrelevant, but just for the record he complete the Boston course in 5 hours, 21 minutes and 56 seconds. Thousands of people cheered him across the finish line. Fellow military man and amputee Earl Granvville got just as much love when he handed his guide his flag and then carried her over the line.
— Scott Sullivan (@SullyBunz) 17 April 2017
This story is everything I’m trying to tell you here. It doesn’t matter how tough your life is, it doesn’t matter how big your setback and it doesn’t matter if you have lost everything you own. What matters is the way you deal with it, how you frame the problem and how you come back fighting.
Jose Luis Sanchez is an inspirational man who refused to be beaten by life-changing injuries and we salute him and thank him for his service.