This past Saturday a 5K Race was held by the “Maniacs” to help raise money for Ryan. Early reports out of the Morgantown, WV area are that it was a success!
I knew that someone from our family would likely attend, but didn’t know who. I prepared as though it would be me going by writing a short pre-race speech that I could present to the runners and other supporters. As it turns out, it was my wife and daughter so I never used it. I offered it to Sue, but she had her own words she wanted to share. I think we got a video recording of this and I’ll post it when I know for sure.
I’m sure many of the people in attendance Saturday will be visiting our website today. Here is what I would have said to you… and I believe it is worthy for others to read too.
Put one foot in front of the other.
For those here this morning that have run before, they will tell you that what they do feels quite differently from the sidelines than as a runner. Never allow those who watch from the bleachers to represent the experience you are about to endure. Even if they think they know what you went through, they don’t. They have not done it. They can only speculate. Sometimes their good intentions of trying to capture what YOU went through are harmful. Never allow them to speak for you. Be offended that they would even try!
Their place is with great worth though. Accept the water they hand to you. Allow them to wipe your forehead. Enjoy that they are there for you. But you, and only you, can represent the experience as the one who is running.
Some are doing this for the first time. For those, they can only imagine what the feeling of crossing the finish line might feel like. Some wonder if they can even do it.
I’m here to tell you… you can. From what I’ve personally witnessed in my son, we can do more than we ever imagined.
Sure, like Ryan, some may experience setbacks and even falter along the way… and that’s okay. The sharp pain in your side might make you cringe. The burn in your lungs will make you gasp for air. That pebble in your shoe will make you limp. Some will stop and rest.
Never question that your purpose is not worth it.
No matter if you roll your ankle, just don’t give up! If not achievable today, then don’t excuse yourself in the future. Allow yourself time to heal. To rest. To find your strength. Then, my friend, no matter how long afterwards, return to that spot on this course and, by damned, finish what you started. Do it, even when no one is watching.
Success is worth it. The possibility of success is more so. It is what our principles, beliefs, morals, and values are built on… possibility.
You openly accepted this challenge. You are now obligated to see it through. Even before you put that first foot in front of the other take a second to remind yourself that this is not just 5,000 kilometers of asphalt you’re conquering.
Make no mistake, Mountaineers and the people of Morgantown are not quitters! How many times have they shown this to my family? Take this as the opportunity to prepare yourself for challenges in your life. Some of these you’ll freely accept, like running today. Others you’ll never want… never asked for… never wish on anyone.
My son, Ryan Diviney, is not a quitter. He’s a Mountaineer! He was given a burden that he hadn’t asked to endure. Today you are running a 5K in his honor. It is symbolic in the show of solidarity of his challenge. Ryan is running a marathon for his life. He runs this at a flat-out sprint speed. He puts one foot in front of the other despite the odds… because he is a man of principle and worth.
So, as you hold my son up on this morning in the heart-touching display of unity for a fallen Mountaineer, please know that he does the same for you. You need look no further than my boy to show people the resolve of this community.
Ryan remains relevant today because of you, and people like you, who refuse to let people forget. Ryan is with you today because you opened you heart to him. He will stay with you as long as you allow.
Read the WVU newspaper article here.