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Running on inspiration
ESPN ^ | 10/9/2009 | Nick Friedell

Posted on 10/10/2009 8:30:47 AM PDT by Saije

CHICAGO -- If you're looking for somebody to cheer for during Sunday's marathon, Steve Baskis is your man.

The 23-year-old Iraq veteran lost his sight last year when a roadside bomb exploded next to the vehicle he was driving. One of his best friends, Victor Cota, was just a few feet away from him at the time and lost his life. Instead of falling apart, though, Baskis did exactly the opposite. He needed an outlet for competitiveness and he wanted to show people that life doesn't end just because you lose your vision. After numerous surgeries to repair his injuries, Baskis started training...

"I like proving people wrong," Baskis told me during our phone conversation earlier this week. "A lot of people tell you you can't do something or they think you can't do this or that before they even give you a chance."

That's one of the reasons why Baskis has decided to participate in his first full-length marathon this weekend. He wants to motivate people to accomplish the types of goals they think they can't reach. But he's not looking for extra pats on the back in the process.

"I guess people say that [my story] is inspirational and stuff," Baskis admits now. "At first, I didn't think it was; I just thought I was doing [what everybody else did]. I'm 23, I'm young -- I had plans to do sports and other things. I don't think I'd be looked at any different than anybody else if I was doing it and I was able-bodied, of course. But because I still have that drive and that willpower to push on, people really look at it a little bit differently when someone's totally blind and they're running."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Military/Veterans; Sports
KEYWORDS: blind; chicago; marathon; veteran
Here's hoping he makes it the whole way.
1 posted on 10/10/2009 8:30:47 AM PDT by Saije
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To: Saije
" The Ironman was put together by Navy SEALs a long time ago and it just really resembles some of things you do in the military. Whether you're doing a forced march with a 60-pound pack or more or however many, 10, 20, 30 miles. It's very similar, in a different way, to doing things in the military.

I'm going through my medical evaluation board. I lost a lot of weight. I've got nerve damage in my left arm. My left hand doesn't work well. Next to that, my worst injury is in my head, behind my eyes, in my sinus cavities, and in my eyes itself. Other than that, I got hit in both my legs and just shrapnel here or there. My right knee was operated on a couple of times and my lower left leg, along with both my arms, my neck and my head. It's all minor stuff."

The least we can do is to save our country from the tyrants & punks who want to change who we are & make America into something that we're not.

How did we get so lucky to have such brave, patriotic young men who are fighting & willing to die for our country. Their spirit brings tears to my eyes.

God Bless all of them & may He give special blessings to this young warrior.

2 posted on 10/10/2009 9:09:52 AM PDT by LADY J (Change your thoughts and you change your world. - Norman Vincent Peale)
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