I suspect you don’t know the name Zoe Koplowitz…but you should! Zoe had multiple sclerosis, a degenerative neurological disease that has no known cause or cure. Often it robs one of his or her ability to walk, talk and see. Rather than feel sorry for herself, Zoe decided she needed a dream, a goal that would ask for everything she had and still demand something more. She decided to run the New York City Marathon. Her friends teased her, calling her Grete, after Grete Waitz, the Norwegian runner who had won eight New York City Marathons. Zoe finished her first marathon in 19 hours and 57 minutes.
Five years later, Zoe found herself seated next to Grete at a dinner honoring Grete’s accomplishments. As Zoe was preparing for her sixth marathon, Grete asked who would be there to record her finish. Zoe tells Grete, “No one; I will call in my time and get a finisher’s medal later.” Stunned by this, Grete told Zoe that no matter how long it takes, she will be there when Zoe finishes. Zoe ran the race with a fibroid tumor pressing on her bladder and spine. It took her 28 hours to finish. And when she crossed the finish line, Grete Waitz was there to drape the medal around her neck as they both sobbed with the emotion of the moment. Grete was determined that Zoe’s experience of the race would be no different from the winner. Grete met Zoe at the finish line each year after.
In her book, The Winning Spirit- Life Lessons Learned in Last Place, Zoe shares, “The race belongs not only to the swift and strong, but to those who keep on running.” The amazing strength and courage of Zoe Koplowitz, as well as the friendship and caring of Grete Waitz, are an unbeatable combination. There is much to learn from the example each of these incredible ladies set.
Time to check in on your progress with TOPS Million Pound Mission to lose ten or more pounds or be a KOPS in leeway by the end of 2017. How are you doing?