When I was in first grade, my teacher Mrs. Barr used to put a gold star at the top of my papers when I did well. I’m sure I had an extra spring in my step, carrying my little green patent-leather school bag home with those papers to show my mother. I suppose that’s where it first started for me.
I must admit I still get that feeling whenever I earn a medal in a race. (Most were finisher’s medals.) Ah, that sense of accomplishment. Everyone likes to be validated for putting out a big effort.
So when my training partner, TriDiver, told me about a brand new organization called Medals4Mettle, I knew I wanted to spread the word and the medals around. This group, which was founded by a doctor, gives medals to children and adults who are battling life-threatening illnesses and severe disabilities. People who demonstrate true mettle every day in their own way.
Medals4Mettle currently accepts marathon, half-marathon, and triathlon medals. While I can’t quite bear to part with my own marathon medals or my half-ironman medal, I’m happy to send the rest of these along to my local chapter of Medals4Mettle. I suspect I’ll feel like I earned a gold star all over again.