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Runner Purposefully Sacrifices First-Place Win To Help Carry Rival To Finish Line

By | exercise, Food for thought, goalcast originals, inspiring, inspiring news, sportsmanship, stories, success, uplifting news

One runner shocked sports purists when he sacrificed sweet victory for sportsmanship, sending a powerful message about what matters most.

In it to win it

Seasoned marathoner Rob Lopez entered the famed 10-kilometer TD Bank Beach to Beacon race in Maine in peak form and with his eye on the prize.

However, from the starter’s gate, he knew that there was one person he’d have to beat: young up-and-comer Jesse Orach.

“Jesse had a very good spring track year at UMaine. He was the favorite, and I was maybe his best competition,”

-Jesse Orach

The stakes couldn’t have been higher: Whoever finished ahead of the other would win the prized men’s Maine-resident division of the race and a cool $1,000.

With a cushy lead and approaching the finish, it looked like Orach would cruise to victory. Lopez thought so too.

“The first mile, I stuck with him,” Gomez says. “Then he pulled away. As a runner, I’ve done enough of these to know that it wasn’t going to be my day.”

Until it was.

That’s because just strides from the finish line, disaster struck Orach.

“But I was so focused on getting to the finish line I stumbled forward for maybe another 10 feet and fell down again,” he recalled.

Then the unforgettable happened.

He sacrificed victory

“It kind of seemed like it was over for me,” said Orach, “Then, I felt someone pick me up.”

Incredibly, that someone was none other than Lopez.

Turning the final corner, he spotted a collapsed Orach, picked him up and propelled him across the finish line to first place. With that, he passed up both the win and the prize money.

A winner for the right reasons

Explaining to the Press Herald, Lopez said that in that moment, camaraderie overtook competition.

“It wasn’t a calculated decision,” he said. “It wasn’t because I’m some sort of hero or some sort of special person, because I’m not. As runners, we understand, we pick each other up and help each other.”

Orach, like everyone else, was awestruck.

“I’m speechless with what he did. Him and I were kind of vying for that number one Mainer spot, and for him to give that up for me is pretty remarkable.”

– Jesse Orach

Word of Lopez’s gesture blew up Facebook, with almost 600 shares and 6,000 likes/loves along with hundreds of gushing comments.

“Now, that is sportsmanship at its finest. Thank you kind sir for being so loving for your fellow runner,” wrote one.

Added another: “Ok I’m in tears. Thank you Robert for showing all of us what true athletes, humans are capable of!”

Elevating others is what it’s really about

It almost seemed like Lopez was reading the script to the wrong movie. Most would have thought that this film would end with Lopez victorious, celebrating slow motion with the glory and money.

Instead, Lopez did what real heroes do: Elevating others and sharing the spotlight. That’s a role we can all strive for.

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50 Years After Their Love Was Torn Apart by Racism, They’re Finally Married

By | Food for thought, inspiring news, love stories, marriage, relationships, romantic

When love is real, it can overcome any barrier — even if it takes five decades.

Way back in 1967, high school students Howard Foster and Myra Clark fell in love. But because of the social climate at the time – and because Howard is black and Myra is white – their love ran into a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Interracial marriages had only recently become legal — the landmark Loving v. Virginia case ruled that Mildred (a black woman) and Richard (a white man) Loving could not be imprisoned for getting married in June of 1967 — and there were often race-related riots outside their high school.

Howard broke up with Myra to protect her

Though he loved her, Howard was afraid rampant racism would hurt their relationship — and endanger Myra.

“Society wasn’t going to let us be together and she be happy… She’d get tired of the stares; I just thought it was unfair to her,” Howard said of his decision. “Her happiness was the most important thing.”

After two years, Richard finally broke it off with Myra, when he realized he could not escape escape racism even at university.

“I believed he’d think I would be happy (without him), though he didn’t know what I’m made of,” Myra said of the moment he broke things off. “And that’s okay.”

The couple was heartbroken that they couldn’t be together and tearfully hugged goodbye before walking in different directions.

“Then a block away,” Myra told ABC6, “we both turned around at the same time and waved. I really think that wave was, ‘I’ll see you later.’”

Unfortunately, that goodbye would end up lasting for decades.

They thought they’d never see each other again

“I remember just sitting in my car and crying,” said Howard, “because it was not an easy decision. I really did love her.”

Their lives went in different directions, but they never stopped thinking about each other.

Howard recalled: “I wondered what would my life be like with her. What would it be like if we had stayed together?”

Myra never married. Howard did, but got divorced…

In 2014, something magical happened when they reconnected through a mutual friend. Howard reached out to Myra, and they were finally reunited across a picnic table in a park.

“For me, the fact that I was sitting there holding her hands is something that I thought would never happen,” said Howard. “And I was not letting her go.”

One year after reuniting, on August 1, 2015, Howard and Myra finally married — and they couldn’t be happier.

The couple is now in their 60s, but in love like teenagers. They hold hands each night when they fall asleep, and despite all the years they lost, Howard and Myra say they have no regrets.

“We enjoy each other; we really enjoy each other,” Howard told Dispatch.

Don’t give up on love

Love is precious and so incredibly rare. Even when the odds seem unsurmountable, those who are torn apart can find their way back together. Never give up hope! And if the opportunity presents itself, grab it, and never let go.

We can all learn from Howard, who said: “I walked away once; I was not going to walk away again.”

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This Nurse Delivered a Baby Boy — Then She Took Him Home

By | Food for thought, heartwarming, inspiring news, Inspiring Stories, love stories, parenting, stories

Claire Mills is a young woman in her twenties who works a difficult and intense but incredibly important job. She makes her living working 12-hour nursing shifts in the neonatal intensive care unit at a Texas hospital.

Being around struggling babies can be emotionally tough, but Mills does it because she cares about each and every one who comes through the NICU. However, one particular baby caught ahold of her heart and the young nurse found she couldn’t let go. 

Everything changed when she met Jackson

Baby Jackson was born 5 weeks early and weighed just 3 pounds and 10 ounces. “It was an instant connection I felt with him,” Mills recalled of the delivery when she spoke to Inside Edition.

Jackson’s birth mother had an emergency cesarean section and he spent the first weeks of his life in the NICU, where Mills took care of him. Mills also became close to the mother, who was not doing well.

Ultimately, mother and baby both grew strong enough to be released, but Mills was devastated to discover that they were discharged on a day she wasn’t at the hospital. Mills reached out to the baby’s social worker and found out that, though Jackson’s mother was out of the hospital, she still needed help: in the form of a new home for her baby.

The mom didn’t have the means to give Jackson the upbringing he deserved, and asked Mills to be the one to give him that upbringing.

Though construction on her new home had just finished and being a single mother wasn’t on her radar, Mills knew what she had to do. But how was she going to pull off being a NICU nurse and a mother, all on her own?

Mills discussed adopting Jackson with her own mom

“She was immediately ecstatic,” Mills recounted, laughing. A leftover crib from one of her siblings was still in the house and her mother quickly offered it for Jackson to sleep in, along with help caring for her future grandson.

And so it was decided that Mills would begin adoption proceedings to make Jackson her son. The idea of trying it out as a foster parent first was suggested, but “I just felt like fostering wasn’t permanent,” Mills said. “Because I didn’t want to give him up.”

Jackson finally came home in June

The new family started a new routine. Mills works four 12-hour shifts each week and Jackson stays with her mother during that time. Mills visits him each day before she heads to the hospital. He comes home with her for the remaining three days of the week.

“He’s so happy,” she said. “He’s so pleasant.” Now 4 months old, Jackson is healthy and already starting solid foods.

Mills feels so rewarded she was able to help this helpless infant who got such a rough start in life. “It’s not normal to see something that’s supposed to be happy turn out to be so bad,” she said. However, it was this circumstance that gave her Jackson.

The new mother’s generosity is a great reminder that anyone’s life can be turned around when they recognize an opportunity to do good — and seize it! In doing so, Mills not only enriched the life of her new son, but also her own. 

More inspiring adoption stories:

Greta Thunberg Stands Up to Her Critics — and Explains Her “Superpower”

By | Food for thought, greta thunberg, inspiring, inspiring news, Inspiring Stories, news, stories

“When haters go after your looks and differences … you know you’re winning.”

This is a powerful statement from a powerful young girl, and just one example of what makes Greta Thunberg so unique and special.

Even at the young age of 15, Greta Thunberg is very well known for her environmental activism, but right now she’s getting attention for her Asperger’s diagnosis, and how she’s responding to the people criticizing her.

Greta’s superpower:

After adults critics said her Asperger’s made her “different,” she instead pointed out how it’s her “superpower.”

Thunberg recently shared on her very active Twitter account that before she started her climate action campaign she had “no energy, no friends and I didn’t speak to anyone. I just sat alone at home, with an eating disorder.”

She confessed she had previously not shared her diagnosis but decided to hide it not because she felt shame, but because “many ignorant people still see it as an ‘illness’, or something negative.”

Her difference is her strength

However, now she’s able to see how her unique situation is also a strength. “Sometimes makes me a bit different from the norm” and she sees being different as a “superpower.”

Those with Asperger’s are often known to be direct and very honest, and this can actually be very useful in interacting with people and building trust. Thunberg believes her vigilant climate crisis work was partly down to viewing the world in stark terms.

Thunberg has dealt with critics in all corners of social media

Australian News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt wrote a column that directly mocked her diagnosis, saying she was  “deeply disturbed”.

Thunberg responded by tweeting that she was “deeply disturbed” by the “hate and conspiracy campaigns” run by climate deniers like Bolt.

We all go through situations where people mock or misunderstand our lives or what we are going through, especially if we are going against he grain. As Greta shows up, standing up for yourself and others like you is the best way to rise above.

This Puppy With Six Legs is a Bullied Teen’s Saving Grace

By | everyday heroes, Food for thought, heartwarming, inspiring news, Inspiring Stories, stories

Sometimes, people let us down, and it can be hard to trust again –- but friendship and renewed trust can come from the most unexpected of places — like man’s best friend.

After Luke Salmon, a 15-year-old boy from Kent, England, was bullied at school because of his psoriasis, his mom Lauren was really worried about him. But when they adopted a six-legged puppy, she found him an instant friend.

Luke had instantly fallen in love with the eight-week-old Labrador mix when he saw him online. He felt a kinship with the pup, because he is also a bit different than his peers.

The unusual critter is called Roo because she hops around on her back — for a very good. She was born with two extra front legs.

“Luke feels like the odd one out because of his condition, and now he’s got a best friend to match,” Lauren told SWNS.

Lauren reports that when she and Luke went to pick up Roo, the little pup was so happy to meet her new human family she came “bounding out” of her puppy pen.

“It was love at first sight for Luke and for Roo from then on,” Lauren says. “Luke is like a protective father. They never leave each other’s sides and she even sleeps in his bed.”

Since getting Roo two weeks ago, the Salmon family has fallen in love with her.

“She’s is just a normal dog to us, just with a couple of extra bits. Her special legs don’t cause her any pain, and it’s easy to see just how full of life she is,” Salmon told SWNS. “There are not many dogs like Roo out there. I think the breeders kill them off because they’re not worth anything, but to us she’s priceless.”

Now, the family hopes to help Roo improve her mobility as she gets bigger and stronger.  

“When she walks, she sort of staggers on her elbows with her bum in the air, like an army crawl,” says Lauren. ” It’s sad but it’s cute at the same time because she is so full of energy.”

But regardless of her mobility, Roo is already Luke’s saving grace. “I think Roo will reduce Luke’s stress and that should help his skin,” his mom predicts, echoing studies that show pets to be beneficial to mental health.

Luke and Roo’s bond just goes to show that our differences are what bring us together and what makes us special. We don’t need to look for perfection in our friends or loved ones — those who are overlooked are often the ones with the most to give.

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