I’m fairly new to exhilarating world of running, but even as a fairly new competitor I can appreciate one thing: THE BLING.
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.
In the spirit of selfless acts and 30 Gifts in 30 Days, Medals 4 Mettle offers just one more to give. Now I pose the same question:
What will you do with all your medals?
If you would like to donate to Medals 4 Mettle, visit their contacts page to find a chapter near you.
***A special THANK YOU to MJ of Runner with a Knitting Problem for the use of her photo. Thanks, Sweetie!*** 🙂
That sounds like a great organization.
I never realized runners received medals when they entered races. That is so cool! They are definitely a reminder of all the hard work you put into it but you are right to say it pales next to the hardships those other individuals face. Medals 4 Mettle sounds fabulous, will pass along the info to my running friends!
Happy WW ( a little late)!
Hey, thanks for popping over the other day. I haven’t made myself part with my hardware yet. I even keep my bibs! For now, they’re both inspiring me while I lace up my shoes–they remind me that each time I go out there, even for an easy run, the workout has a purpose. My medals are hanging in my garage, next to my running shoes, visor, blinky light, and runner’s mace, and watching them and reliving my races are part of my pre-run routine. Someday, Medals4Mettle. Someday.
Hey, I just started donating my worn-out shoes! And the d-tag from my last race is still on my laces . . . silly, how much I hang on to this stuff.
So, you’re planning Gasparilla again this year, huh? Maybe I’ll see you there!
There was a great article awhile back in Runners World. This is a great organization. I think the kids really appreciate the medals. Did you give any of your medals up yet?
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