For the past month I have had two very special friends staying with me from Honduras. Ruth and her brother Rafael (Rafa) helped introduce Shawn and I to the Latin American culture while we served for two years in their country with the Peace Corps between 2001-2003. My friend Ruth called this trip a historical event as it was her first time traveling to the United States. I was thrilled to have them here to experience life in the United States, spend time with me and my kids and participate in some of the memorial celebrations honoring Shawn this past month.
The highlight event for Rafa was the 5K Shawn Silvera Memorial Run hosted September 15th in Lino Lakes. All proceeds from the run are being donated to the Honduras Water Project, which works to bring clean, running water to a third world mountain village. It was a particularly meaningful event for my friends as they know how much aid this provides their country. On an even more personal level, this was the first time Rafa has ever participated in a 5K race.
The night after the run, with sore legs and tired bodies, we discussed the contagious energy we felt. Searching for the perfect expression, Rafa explained that the run was a vehicle of inspiration for him. While he was running he had the chance to think about his life and personal goals in the solitude of his mind. The run forced him to think alone without other distractions. He found it to be a perfect time to reflect.
Every time Rafa wanted to slow down he would read one of the quotes
posted along the run route: Be Here Now or Live the Importance of
Today and use the messages as motivation to continue running. He
believed running in the race paralleled his ambition to strive for
bigger goals. Often he feels overwhelmed by a busy life and would like
to quit one of his classes as he pursues his current goal to graduate
from college. Rafa described a renewed energy to complete what he
has started as he ran with persistence to make it to the finish line.
Even though he wanted to stop running, he kept going. This event
alone showed him his determination and stamina which could be applied
to other areas in his life. By running the 5K he was encouraged to
fulfill the dreams he has in his heart even when they are difficult or
appear to be out of reach.
Listening to Rafa’s passion, I could see how much the 5K run
empowered him. He described his time in Minnesota to be life
changing. All the energy of the run’s details and planning became
worth it to hear this young man talk about the impact and inspriation
of the end results. A life changing vehicle of inspiration. That is
the vehicle I want to ride in.