“Marathon of Understanding” © 1998
by Robert G Targos
I don’t like the way people automatically judge what they see
Because they assume, by the way I look, that I can’t walk free.
All they look at is my limiting disability
Instead of noticing how obstacles strengthen my body.
I do it to enhance my physical shape
And to test what barriers I could harmlessly escape.
I soon sense the level of my muscular power
As my skin sweats and I experience a cardiovascular shower.
My arms and legs are in repetitive motion
And I am a flowing example of synchronistic rotation.
Now I am not conscious of how I instinctively move
Because I am in the middle of an awesome stepping groove.
By the laws of nature I need to abide
And I also need to keep myself in a constant stride.
Along the way, I am enjoying the effortless ride
Accompanied with a smile of abounding pride.
To some I might seem like a fragile freak
But after I chase that myth, people realize I am not weak.
Some people are confused by the difficult road I travel
But I hope to run miles by pounding the hardened gravel.
It took years for me to train
To learn how to battle this tricky terrain.
I also had to continue on, despite the falling pain
In order to figure out the biggest gain.
I had to consistently workout
In an atmosphere of constant doubt.
My crutches did impact my speed
But my progress, it did not impede.
The knowledge I accumulated with each cane
Taught me how to overcome some people’s overwhelming disdain.
I realized that no matter what I had to continue on
In order to reach the end of life’s ultimate marathon.
At the end, I took my final place
Knowing that no matter where I finished, I did so without disgrace.
My mind and body had its combined revenge
Because I found a way to get past this physical challenge.
My crutches made it look like I was downhill skiing
When all I tried to do was run like any other human being.
I know that since I was able to run the distance
All other people need to give me is enough of a chance.
At times, the journey was frustrating and long
But it taught me a lesson about how truly to become strong.
To many people, my accomplishment is a surprise
Which shows the liberating effect of a simple exercise.