Brett Freiburger is a young man who's a runner. A very good runner. Seeing him run across the gym was like seeing poetry in motion. I'd love to run like he does.
He's worked very hard at it, harder than most. When Brett was a senior in high school, he was injured in a hunting accident. After all efforts to save his injured leg failed, they amputated his left leg below the knee.
A soccer player in high school, Brett was a competitive athlete before his accident. As the mother of a child that was an outstanding athlete in high school who went on to compete in college sports, I understood all too well what he was talking about when he described his personality to us. Determination and dedication are ingrained in people like that. Throw an obstacle in front of them, and they don't whine about it - they just work harder and work around it.
Brett had to learn how to walk with his prosthesis, then how to run. That cannot have been easy by any stretch of the imagination. I know many of us feel like this half-marathon is a tall and steep mountain to climb, but if I remember only one thing Brett told us, it will be this:
"If you think in your mind that you can't do something, you'll never do it. You have to think positively and know that you can." (paraphrased)
He knows what we're going through, big time. I'm sure he had setbacks, but he didn't let them keep him from accomplishing his goals. Brett runs for St. Francis University, where he attends college. He's on the U.S. Paralympic Team and will be competing in Beijing in September.
Wow. Not much room for whining now, is there?