Once I year I wake up on a Saturday morning at 5:30am without grunting about it. It’s the day I participate in the annual Pat’s Run organized by the Pat Tillman Foundation here in Tempe, Arizona.
I’ve been part of this event for the past 5 years and I don’t plan on stopping. For as long as I’ll walk, I promised myself I’ll keep going. You know why?
It’s because Pat Tillman’s legacy must be carried on. We owe so much to all men and women in uniform who so selfless give their all, sometimes until the last sacrifice. Donating toward the Pat Tillman scholarships and honoring Pat’s life is the least I can do.
A few years ago my sister Monica and her hubby Rene joined me. The next year my son Patrick joined me. Last year was the first time my cousin Cristina, her husband Tedi and their two children participated. This year my niece Bat-El registered which got our group up to 7 people. We call ourselves Devils4ever, a name that resonates with us not only because we are Devils’ fans, but because we belong heart and soul to the ASU community.
We always have fun, spending the 4.2 miles either walking, jogging or running. But we don’t stop until the finish line on the Sun Devils Stadium among other 30k participants.
I’m not going to tell you anything about the training I do for this event. And I’m not going to talk about how hard it is, because it is not, or at least it doesn’t feel hard to me. What I want to tell you about is the emotions that pool inside my heart threatening to spill into tears. The feeling of belonging to what makes our country this incredible place to be, this nation that stand on its feet no matter what comes our way. No matter who or what hurts us, no matter what it takes, we always get up and move on.
Pat once said, “Passion is kind of an important word for me, whether it’s playing sports or whether it’s just living or whatever you’re going to do. In my opinion you should be passionate about it or else, why do it?”
This year’s race motto was NEVER STOP. I have every intention on doing just that.