Written by Chris Cantrell
At the beginning of the year, a friend of mine brought up the idea of the one-word year. Basically, you look ahead to what you would like to accomplish in the coming year and pick a word that will focus you towards achieving those goals. I picked a word and have occasionally thought about how my progress is going. I’m doing well in some areas, but need to get busy in others.
Recently, another word has repeatedly come to mind. Although it is not the word I picked for my year, it is a word many know well. We know it, but don’t fully grasp its meaning or impact. We limit this word to areas of our life that we think we have under control; areas we talk about. Areas of our lives which exist in the light of public scrutiny. Well, that was yesterday.
As MURCAns, we are a small and unique part of an incredible family, a family with a storied and revered history. It is a history which was not bestowed upon us without sacrifice, but what does that mean, sacrifice? I think we limit this word to grand acts: burning the pure of heart to please some mythical being, trading places with someone held hostage, or allowing someone else to take the last seat on the helicopter ride out of a hopeless situation.
Sacrifice is the smallest of acts. Yet, it is often the most difficult. It requires that we put our comfort and sometimes even our dignity aside to do what is right, what is most beneficial, or allows other to succeed.
The topic of leadership has been on the forefront of MURCAn conversations lately. Leadership is sacrifice. Leadership is getting up early, staying until the last task is done, or taking the worst assignment when you clearly have the seniority to take a much better one.
Recently, we got to see MURCAs Chief Executive Officer and front man Mike Harris illustrate this critical leadership principal. During the live cast with Trail Runner Nation host and fellow MURCAN Don Freeman, the tables were turned on Mike. Don asked Mike a question. Mike was not expecting this and it clearly made him a little uneasy. Mike shifted in his seat and started to make an excuse. And then it happened…sacrifice.
Mike sacrificed his comfort and his expectations by answering the question, because that is what leaders do. That is what we as Marines have been trained to do. Face the uncomfortable, the unknown, or the unforgiving tasks in life fearlessly. That is what we must do.
Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful. Faithful to lead. Faithful to follow. Faithful to make it matter. Faithful to sacrifice. Not for stature or accolade, but because we are MURCAns and it is at the very core of our DNA.
My challenge to my fellow MURCAns is this. Get out of your comfort zone. Maybe it is slowing down to help another runner through a rough patch. Maybe it is missing a run to go visit a veteran who is in a dark place. Maybe it is being honest and accountable to another MURCAn about your own struggles so you can get the help you need. Be brave enough to start making the sacrifice whatever it is.
Run Far, Be Safe, Sacrifice Often