Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Culture

Marathon Meb: Thoughts On Giving Thanks

Meb Keflezighi is thankful for what running has brought to his life.

Meb Keflezighi is thankful for what running has brought to his life.

Recently I met a runner who told me he had broken his foot while getting ready for the Chicago Marathon, and because of his injury he wasn’t able to train and would have to miss the race. Understandably he was disappointed, but he also told me that if he hadn’t broken his foot, he wouldn’t have as much of an appreciation for the times that he was healthy and able to train hard. There’s a great lesson here that we can all learn from as runners: While we are all trying to improve, or run a personal best and get to that finish line as fast as we can, we can’t take for granted that we have good health and able bodies. Sometimes it takes a setback such as injury to be thankful for the times when everything is clicking and going smoothly.

It’s nice to be able to give thanks on the fourth Thursday of November, but it’s important to realize that every day is an opportunity to be thankful. Be thankful for the air you breathe, the food that’s on your table. Be thankful for the opportunity to run, whether it’s one mile, 10 miles or 15 miles. Often we take running for granted, and when it’s over we just move on with our day. After a run, I like to take a few minutes to be thankful for my health, beautiful surroundings and the opportunity to inspire others through the gifts that have been given to me.

This year, Thanksgiving will be extra special for me. In the months since I won Boston, a lot of people have come up to me and said, “Thank you. Thank you for what you have done.” They appreciate what I did for Boston and the United States on that day in April. For me, I feel that solidifies that I was put on this earth to touch people, to inspire them through running. I’ve achieved my personal goals of winning races and earning medals, but with Boston people are appreciative on a deeper level beyond victory, and that makes it extra meaningful to me.

MORE MARATHON MEB: Keep Pushing Forward

When I reflect on the life I have, I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I hadn’t left Eritrea and came to the United States as young boy. Every year at Thanksgiving I’m thankful for the opportunities my country has given me—for my family, my kids, my health and what I’ve been able to accomplish throughout my career. I’m thankful not just for what I have done, but for what I can still do.

****

About The Author:

Meb Keflezighi is the only runner in history to win both the New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon and earn an Olympic medal. This is the first installment of his new “Marathon Meb” column for Competitor. Follow along each month in the magazine and also find regular training tips and inspiration at competitor.com/runmeb.