Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blog Roll - Fasil Bizuneh

Entry #208
Week of October 4, 2010
by Fasil Bizuneh


I was reading my friend Reid Coolsaet's post Toronto Marathon blog the other day and it gave me goosebumps. For those of you that don't know Reid, he is one of New Balance's Canadian Distance runners. He had a career defining performance last weekend running 2:11:23. In his blog he thanks all of the people who have played a role in his success as well as a play by play breakdown of his race. I found myself envisioning my own future and reflecting on all the people that I myself have to thank for where I am in my life. I then remembered our team meetings that Greg McMillan set up with an Atlanta based psychologist, Dr Stan Beecham. Dr. Stan reminded us to be appreciative of all the excess that we have in our lives. His point was that if all your actions begin from a place of gratitude then everything you undertake will be that much better. Then it struck me - I don't have to wait until I run 2:09 next week in Chicago to be grateful for all the people and situations who have played an instrumental role in what's going to go down on streets of Chicago on 10/10/10.

My parents, Moges and Eyerusalem Bizuneh, who gave up their lives and family to emmigrate from Ethiopia to give me and my brothers a better life than the one they had. Everything I am is because of them. My brother's (my best friends), Amsalu and Ben, who have supported my running career and have been my biggest fans. My girlfriend Kara Mellon, for taking care of me, listening to my problems, loving me unconditionally, and all the other things she does too numerous to mention. My dog, Ras the basenji, for being my only running partner before I joined the group and always being happy to see me when I come home. Greg McMillan has been so generous with his time and coaching from the moment I approached him about joining Team USA Arizona. Without all the hard work and sacrifices that he has made to set up the best road racing club in the US, this opportunity would not be possible. Brett Gotcher, Nick Arciniaga and all the other members of Team USA Arizona who welcomed me as part of their family. They chose not to look at me as a rival to take away from their dream and goals, but as a teammate that could help them to accomplish them. James Carney for relocating to Flagstaff to accompany me for this marathon buildup and for encouraging me through workouts over the past few months and pushing me to places I didn't know I could go much like he did 4 years ago when we were both members of Team USA Monterey. Martin Fagan for being a cool roommate for a couple years and agreeing to pace James, Nick and I in Chicago through the first 15 miles. John Ball, for all the hours of PT service and everything else he's done for me. John Evans, Dan Green, and everyone else at New Balance for sticking by me through all these years of unfulfilled marathon promise. Tom Ratcliffe and all the athlete's of KIMbia athletics for continually setting a standard of excellence for me to live up to. Terry Brahm, Scott Williams, Bill Wilhelm, Mark Chastain, Walt Drenth, Jason Dunn, Corey Ihmels, Louie Quintana, Bob Sevene, Scott Simmons and every other coach that's ever held a watch, yelled good job or given me a pat on the back. Ronnie Buchanan, Juan Chavira, Juan Reyes, Brandon Strong, Roger Cahill, Juan Escalera, Rod Sharpe, Isaiah Festa, J.R. Cox, Dustin Nichols, Johnny Smith, Tim Sweeney, Zach Galindo, Kris Alexander, Jeremy Rasmussen, Fernando Cabada, Aaron Aguayo, Trent Briney, Cele Rodriguez, Michael Smith, Michael Lancaster, Ryan Bak, and all my other friends and former teammates for giving me an ear to speak to and a friend to run with. And finally anyone I've ever raced against for giving me a reason to go faster. The people at Powerbar and Equalibryum for providing additional support to my endeavors.

I just saw the 4th episode of World of Jenks (Fifty Fists) on MTV tonight. It's a documentary style show where each episode follows the life of a young person trying to make their way in this world. Tonight's show featured Anthony Pettis, a 23 year old mixed martial arts fighter who uses his earnings and sponsorships to help support his family. They followed him in the weeks leading up to a make or break fight in his career and concluding with the fight. I could really relate to some of the emotions that he was going through. One of his training partners, Pat Berry, said something that really struck me. He said, "When we step into the cage, we're not going in there alone. It's not the 1 on 1 fight that it looks like. It's a gang versus a gang. I have all of my trainers, coaches, family, training partners, and friends in there with me. So when I throw a fist at the other guy's head, It's really like 50 fists coming at him." All of these people I've mentioned above are my gang. When I hit the streets of Chicago, they'll all be running with me. 50 hearts, 100 lungs, 100 feet and 1 dream.

Without the good fortune that led me to all of these people, there's no telling where I'd be at this point in my life. But with them, I can tell you exactly where I'll be on October 10th, 2010 at 9:39am!

Thx for reading,
Fasil Bizuneh