"Never limit where running can take you." ~Bart Yasso's inscription in Team McManus' copy of "My Life on the Run."
Tom looked over while running the Bermuda Marathon Weekend 10K as part of his Bermuda Triangle Challenge and realized he was running next to Bart Yasso.
At the after race weekend party at the Fairmount Southampton Princess, we snapped this photo of Tom and Bart:
We stayed connected on Facebook with Bart and Runner's World, and reconnected with him at the Runner's World pop up store during Boston Marathon Weekend. We picked up a copy of his book, "My Life on the Run."
From p. 201: This acceptance of all abilities is what differentiates running from every other sport. In football they were 22 people in the field and 60,000 in the stands. It's the opposite in running. Everyone's on the field and in the fold. Running is egalitarian and you're never too young or too old.
There is no other sport where, as a back of the pack runner I would be able to share in our love and passion for the sport with a running great like Bart Yasso.
Bart takes us on his journey as someone who found redemption and healing in running. He, in turn, brings the gift of running and inspiration to others around the globe.
I have never won a race of the mythical 26.2 miles distance and at the age of 43 I probably never would. It was time to appreciate the sweaty exertion for what it was an affirmation of life. Running was magic and I never wanted to lose my ability to conjure up that altered state again.
Running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life's possibilities.
Glory isn't the pay off. This may sound cliché but the reward is living the lifestyle and embracing the journey. It's not only about finishing it's about moving forward.
Pay it forward is a consistent theme in Bart's life as he shares the redemptive and healing power of running with others. He trained a group of recovering drug and alcohol addicts for the Lehigh River Relay Race.
From the Chapter, "Clean Streaks":
I had once walked in their shoes and now they could run in the ones I had given them.
No one cared where they had come from or what they are done. They were runners here, same as everyone else.
Although they finished 110th out of 150th, they experienced a much bigger win than what place they finished in as Bart eloquently explains:I couldn't stop smiling. I felt their achievement was my own. For 8 long weeks I had pushed them out of a lethargy brought on by poor choices. They got a taste of a better world, but now it was up to them to stay sober.
I wished them resolve. Luck wouldn't be enough.
As you read Bart's book, you will find yourself laughing out loud as Bart's warmth and wit take you to destination races around the world, and then finding your breath catch as Bart finds out he is diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease.
There are training tips, a chapter on inspirational runners and must do races.
Bart's wit and whimsy for his life adventures are juxtaposed with his journey of triumph and resilience, and communicating his love and passion for the sport of running.
One of my favorite moments happened on p. 159 as Bart paces a group of runners at the Portland Marathon shortly after recovering from another bout of Lyme Disease:
At mile 25, a middle-aged runner on my pace team told me he had tried to qualify for Boston 22 times. 'I'm going to make it this time,' he said.
'You got it in the bag,' I told him.
He started crying.
'Dude, what are you doing?' I said.
'I can't believe it. Boston's my dream.'
'No crying in pace teams. We still have a mile to go. You can cry at the finish line.'
Never limit where running can take you - on the roads and in your life!
Thank you Bart Yasso for letting us know about where running has taken you!
Go the distance with strength and courage!
Be sure to visit my website by following this link.
My books are available on Amazon.
Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life
Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:
And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):