It is always nice to have people say nice things about you. That almost goes without typing/saying (but, hey, I needed an opener). But when those people take the time to actually type it to you (or better yet write it in a letter- go ahead and surprise someone you care about with a letter this week), that makes you feel even more special. When they take the time to type it to you when they are surrounded by enemy fire in Iraq, well, that one means a little more than most.
The other week I received the following message:
I just wanted to say that I've always enjoyed reading your blog. I'm currently on my second tour in Iraq, so I'm forced to live vicariously through other runners until I get back. Thankfully you race so much, I've been well entertained for the past 7 months.
I noticed a few posts back that you mentioned you were going to be a Charity Chaser for the , and have to say that I am extremely jealous. By the time I moved to Pittsburgh (and started running) the Pittsburgh Marathon was a memory; of course I'm absent the year they bring it back!
I was taking a few photos for some running friends, and figured I'd throw you in the mix. Even though we've never met, I'm a strong believer in charity running, so I thought I'd shoot you a motivational snapshot. I'm no photographer; I'll apologize now for the blurry picture. It looked good on the camera, and of course I probably won't have the opportunity to take another.
Good luck in Pittsburgh! I hope to see you in a race some day, although at that time I'll be cheering for myself. I'll need it, your PR has a good 6 minutes on mine.
SGT Kysela, Daniel
1st PLT, C CO, 1/112th INF, 56th SBCT"
I was extremely moved by this particular email and SGT Kysela and I have exchanged some correspondence. I learned that he is a Chicago Bears fan like me and ran his first marathon a full HOUR faster than mine in a 3:12! He then set his current PR of 2:57 on a tough Country Music Marathon course just a few months later. After he finishes his second tour his marathoning return should be at the end of the year, at the Vegas Marathon (Dec 6). Here he will be raising money for the Wounded Warriors Project in honor of one of his good friends who was wounded on his last deployment.
I can only hope that he gets home safely and we have a chance to go for a run together real soon. Thanks for all you do, SGT!