Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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IF YOU'RE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING MOTIVATED TO GET IN SHAPE...OR JUST MOTIVATED TO CHANGE...THIS STORY'S FOR YOU. THE STORY OF A YOUNG MAN PREPARING FOR HIS 2ND SALT LAKE CITY MARATHON. NO BIG DEAL? YOU BET IT IS! KATHY AIKEN HAS HIS STORY.
"IT WAS MAGICAL."
Magical may not be a word most would use after running a marathon...
but considering how 28 year old Ben Wilkinson made it through 26.2 miles...magical may be an understatement.
"THERE AREN'T EVEN WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE...IT WAS A DEFINING MOMENT IN MY LIFE."
That defining moment came in last year's SLC Marathon.
A moment that came after year's of struggling with cerebral palsy.
"I HAD COMPLETE STRANGERS RUN WITH ME...I HAD A MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR RUN WITH ME ON VAN WINKLE FOR A COUPLE OF MILES...AS I RAN THROUGH GATEWAY THE EMT'S WERE ON BIKES THEY WERE ALL IN TEARS."
"I KNEW I COULD DO IT BUT THE MOMENT I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE I WAS LIKE I CAN DO MORE."
So Ben is PREPARING for more. His 2nd Salt Lake City Marathon is June 3rd.
He'll quickly wear out another pair of shoes...
go through another set of gloves...
but in the process...grab the hearts of those who watch along the way.
"LIFE IS ALL ABOUT ATTITUDE AND HAVING A VISION...HAVING DREAMS...IT'S NOT ABOUT RUNNING 26 MILES IT'S ABOUT GETTING A LITTLE BIT BETTER EVERY DAY"
"AND IT JUST EXPANDED MY VISION IN WHAT WAS POSSIBLE FOR ME IN MY LIFE AND THE LIFE OF OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH DISABILITIES."
For years Ben has expanded his vision. He served an LDS mission, going door to door for 2 years in San Diego.
He ran his first race 6 years ago, a 10 k. But the marathon has become his Mt. Everest.
He finished last year in 7 hours, 38 minutes...this year...he's hoping for closer to 7.
"LANCE ARMSTRONG IN HIS BOOK HAS A LINE THAT SAYS I WAS MEANT FOR A LONG HARD CLIMB AND I GUESS MY MESSAGE TO PEOPLE IS LIFE DOESN'T HAVE TO BE HARD AND YOU CAN FOCUS EVERY DAY AND OVERCOME ANY PERCEIVED LIMITATIONS."
"I REALLY BELIEVE I WAS GIVEN CEREBRAL PALSY FOR A REASON AND IF I CAN INSPIRE ONE PERSON OUT THERE WITH A DISABILITY WHATEVER IT MAY BE, REACH FOR THE STARS GO FOR IT. DON'T LET A PERCEIVED DISABILITY HOLD YOU DOWN IN LIFE..."
"THE ULTRA MARATHON, IS THAT NEXT...THERE'S A LIMIT KATHY."
BEN'S OTHER GOAL NEXT MONTH IS RAISING MONEY FOR THE HUNTSMAN CANCER FOUNDATION. HE HOPES TO RAISE ATLEAST $5,000...SO IF YOU'D LIKE TO DONATE...GO TO HUNTSMANCANCERFOUNDATION.ORG...AND IF YOU WANT TO DONATE IN BEN'S NAME...JUST RIGHT HIS NAME IN THE COMMENTS BOX.