The story that I am about to share with you right now is not only suitable for today's importance but also an important inspiration for all who desire to achieve their purposes in life with committed action.
Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of finding a seat at the Thinking Cup on Newbury Street. I put my heavy gear on the floor and my camera on the small yet elegant coffee tables they have. While sipping on my cup of hot chocolate, I saw this intriguing elderly gentleman focused on his iPad sitting next to me.
Few minutes later, the elderly gentleman turns towards me and points at my camera stating how much he appreciates photography and how back in the day they didn't have the luxury of digital cameras. Started off of that, who could have known that I was about the meet a Guinness Book of World Records holder?!?
Meet Mr. Robert Rebello! He is the Oldest Person to Complete a Marathon on Each Continent (Male) at the age of 74/281 years/days!!! Bob did not only finish the Boston Marathon twice but finished marathons in 18 different countries that include and are not limited to Australia, Argentina, and Antartica in 14 years total. Several weeks after our first encounter, Mr. Rebello kindly accepted my invitation to the same Thinking Cup to answer my questions about his journey.
As I couldn't help my curiosity, I asked, "Why?" to Mr. Rebello. (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/oldest-person-to-complete-a-marathon-on-each-continent-(male))
With a small smile in his face he started telling his story to me. Bob set this a challenge for himself after he lost his brother, John, to cancer in 1999. His efforts have seen him raise thousands of dollars for Kidney Cancer Research in memory of his brother. Bob is a consultant in his professional life and he planned all of his journey in a professional, disciplined, and transparent manner to his audience. He told me, with the ambition in his eyes, that with a commitment and purpose combined you can achieve any success in your life. The little cartoon he drew of a "Tough Guy" symbolizes that you should face every challenge there is and commit yourself to that ultimate purpose you would like to achieve to overcome that challenge.
After listening to his story for a while, I decided to back up a little and ask how he was able to receive that record. He restated to me that obtaining the record was not the purpose and he did not even have it planned out for that. After he successfully finished collecting the donations for Kidney Cancer Research, a friend of his approached to him with the idea and asked him to look into it. Who could have known that you could get life's bits of kind surprises offered to you after you complete your purpose.
Do you think this was an easy challenge for Bob? Not only did he finish the 7 continent marathon but also had to collect the donation he set himself as a goal of $100,000. He ran about more that 24,000 miles in total while experiencing other difficulties such as illness, injury, and lack of money. He had to leave his job to begin this 14 year journey, put up a website so that people could track his whereabouts along with the donations, and be miles apart from his loved ones. These are only a few of his commitments. He also stated that he made it a goal for himself to gain new friendships in every country he visits and he did make a lot of friends and ran the miles with them side by side.
Today, Mr. Rebello has aimed himself to share his challenging yet victorious journey with others. He gives speeches free of charge to companies, schools, and organizations just so that he can reach out and inspire other individuals. Who could have known that I was sitting next to such a committed and successful individual? I am extremely glad that he commented on my camera so that we can begin this wonderful friendship. Without such people like Bob, we wouldn't be able to push the limit and make things happen. I am truly inspired by Bob's story and would like all my readers to think to themselves about how they are pursuing their purposes in life because no matter what the challenge is, you need to push it to the limit!
You can find more about Mr. Robert Rebello's journey including a chart of his finish times, collected amounts of donations, and photos on his website at Bob Rebello's Worldwide Marathons (http://bobrebello.com)
He is also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/worldwidemarathons
Thank you Bob for sharing this inspiring story with me!