Some races ring a medal around each runner’s neck as the athletes cross the finish line. Then, there are races where I actually qualify in my age division and I am awarded for my efforts with a shiny new bit of bling. But whether I get a medal for just being there or one for being my best, the bling all means the same to me. I trained for it, therefore I earned.
After a race, I have been seen around town wearing my medal proudly at the supermarket or at the local pub while downing a pint with friends. After all, you can only wear your medal for so long before you look like a wannabe Flo-Jo.
As proud as I am of all my achievements and my medals, my bibs and bling are stuffed into drawer in my nightstand, however, I have been toying with the idea of displaying my bling on a curtain rod like MJ of Runner with a Knitting Problem.
Then, while visiting another runner blog (Mile By Mile), I stumbled upon her post asking what other runners did with all their medals. She mentioned Medals 4 Mettle, a non-profit organization that collects medals from athletes and redistributes the medals by awarding them to people who face greater challenges in their lives, such as debilitating disease or disability.
Taken from the Medals 4 Mettle website:
Its mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life. As marathoners run through the streets, large crowds cheer the runners for their effort. Medals4Mettle lets these runners, healthy enough to compete in such an event, to return the cheers to those who have supported them.
So, as I stuff my small achievements into a sock drawer, it seems I don’t truly appreciate my medals as much as I should. Medals 4 Mettle reminds us that others have huge hurdles yet to overcome and I can share my accomplishments with others who have survived and lived to tell about their HUGE ACHEIVEMENTS.
What will you do with all your medals?
***A special THANK YOU to MJ of Runner with a Knitting Problem for the use of her photo. Thanks, Sweetie!***