Lori Falcone from Connecticut shared her inspiration for running the MCM:
On a Monday, in early August of 2011, I decided to meet a friend for lunch in Stamford, CT. What started as a great afternoon, ended as a life changing experience. We sat outside to enjoy the beautiful afternoon and catch up. At around 12:15, we contemplated leaving but decided to just keep talking. It had been a long time and we were really enjoying ourselves. What I did not notice on that afternoon was the parking space that was directly facing my seat in front of the Café.
Around 12:35, something happened that has changed me (and my friend) forever. While I don’t remember it, a 92-year old driver mistook the gas for the break, hit me head on and barreled me through the restaurant until I (and 2 others) were pinned to the counter. The manager of the shopping center was fortunately nearby, and had to make the decision to pull me from the car (and risk paralyzing me) or watch me bleed. Luckily, he pulled me out and saved my life – I think of him often.
My first memory was in the ambulance and, while I did not know what was wrong with me, I knew from the paramedics face that it was bad.
After two days in the ICU, I was moved to a room and will spare you the details of my month long stay in the hospital. I made many resolutions and goals for myself and my family — and I was so happy to just be alive. I progressed from a wheelchair, to a walker, to crutches to a cane…..and eventually to walking on my own. It was a long road, but one I was lucky to have.
One of the commitments I made was if I was able to walk or run again….I wanted to do a marathon. Why? Simply put because I could. So now 5+ years later, I am training for my first full Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM)! The MCM stands as the largest marathon in the world that doesn’t offer prize money, instead celebrating the honor, courage and commitment of all finishers. I am running for all those who cannot and while I may come in last, it will be the achievement of my final post-accident goal.
I learned many things during the past 5+ years, and while it sounds cliché, I learned some important life lessons: 1) Live my life – and don’t put off things, do them today 2) Spend more time with family and friends – they are what really matter 3) Laugh a lot more and don’t sweat the small stuff – because when the big things come you will need your energy. 4) You are stronger than you know – and are capable of anything you put your mind to. And lastly, don’t sit in front of a parking spot.
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