Thursday, June 9, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Countdown to Quonset

I am so excited for tomorrow's Quonset Air Show 4 Mile Road Race. I am well trained and confident in my body's ability to take on my first road race since the Hyannis 10K in February.

This race brings together special people in my life and a cause very near and dear to my heart.

The Race Director is Geoffrey Smith, two time Boston Marathon Champion and just an amazing guy. We were so blessed to share our Bermuda experience with him. He is the record holder for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10K race.

Here's Geoff at the race start:

Two friends we met en route to Bermuda, Mona and Shawn are going to be running the race. They are close friends with Geoff.

The race t shirt is stunning:

Proceeds from the race benefit non-profit military organizations:
RI Veterans’ Home, Bristol, RI
RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, RI
RI Military Lounge at TF Green Airport, Warwick, RI
USMC JROTC, Tolman High School, Pawtucket, RI
The Quonset Air Museum, North Kingstown, RI
Seabee Museum & Memorial, North Kingstown, RI

A highly decorated war hero, a veteran who sadly ended his own life as a result of war trauma will be honored.

The inaugural Quonset Airshow 4 Mile road race/walk will honor Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Robert Guzzo Jr., U.S. Navy .

We would like to officially announce our honored hero, Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Robert “Rob” Guzzo from Portsmouth, RI. Please join us in honoring SO2 Guzzo who was a Navy SEAL who served in Iraq during “Operation Enduring Freedom” in 2006 while assigned to SEAL Team 5. Rob Guzzo was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with a combat “V” device for valor. His other personal awards include a combat action ribbon and good conduct medal. Rob played linebacker at Portsmouth High School and was a high school football star. He graduated high school in 1997. Rob had the ability to lite up any room and lived life to the fullest. He always sought action. Rob later graduated SUNY Cortland in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Rob then joined the Navy in 2003 and became a Navy SEAL and served as a communications specialist. He is remembered by friends and family as a highly motivated person who wanted to serve his nation as a SEAL after the attacks of 9-11. He was the loving son of career Navy veterans. Rob developed post-traumatic stress issues after the death of a close friend and fellow SEAL while deployed to Ramadi, Iraq. He was honorably discharged in 2008.

Post service, he started a career as an actor and appeared in a major motion picture and a TV show. Sadly, he took his own life on Veteran’s Day in 2012.

And what is really special for me is that Jeffrey Spratt,MT, my beloved massage therapist, boss, dear friend and healer is going to be running the race!

He has a very special place in his heart and at Spratt Muscular Therapies for Active Duty Military and Veterans. He feels incredibly honored and privileged to be able to serve those who serve to protect and defend our freedom. He offers a $25 savings on all treatments of 30 minutes or longer to Active Duty Military, Veterans, Emergency Responders and their spouses. I love talking with Jeffrey about my experiences as a VA social worker and hearing his compassion and passion for helping veterans to heal the wounds of war. He has a passion for all things military and aviation since he was trained in commercial aviation. It's going to be awesome to share the experience of race day with him.

One of the things that facilitates my healing in partnering with Jeffrey is that he walks the walk and talks the talk. He promotes health and wellness and believes in helping people to create positive momentum in their lives moving from a stagnant and sedentary lifestyle. He believes in setting and achieving goals and going outside of his comfort zone. His energy and passion for athletic endeavors is infectious and helps me to reclaim my advantage and reclaim my life in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma.

Counting down to the Quonset Air Show 4 Mile Road Race is such a different experience from a year ago when I was getting ready for my come back race, The Finish at the 50 on July 3rd. Running, participating in a road race, regular work outs and health and wellness are now an integral part of my life.

It's going to be an amazing day tomorrow as we gather together to honor, celebrate and lace up, go outside, stand there in silence, look up at the sky. Contemplate how amazing life is. Breathe it in. Then go run...

To your health and wellness!

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