Forrest Gump Lived an Amazing Life. It Began With Running.
The story of Forrest Gump resonates with so many people, and it’s easy to understand why. He was a star on the football field, a hero on the battlefield, and a successful entrepreneur who made millions from a shrimpin’ boat. But we’re blinded by the accomplishments, the medals, and the glory of it all. Look closer. There’s more to the story than you think.
Forrest was a simple man. He lived simple and he talked slow. In fact, he didn’t talk much at all. What he did say was honest and to the point. But when asked about his past, he would gladly tell his story to a stranger sitting on the bench as long as they had the time to listen. He longed for friendship and someone that he could talk to. Someone that would listen. Can you hear the what he’s saying, yet?
If you had asked him where it all started, he would have said it started with running.
As a child, he wore leg braces and was unable to get about like everyone else. Other kids would tease him and chase him down, cruelly laughing while doing so. Until one day, Forrest had enough. He broke free from his chains — the braces breaking apart and falling to the ground with a dull clank. For the first time in his life, he ran, free and without the burden that held him down his entire life. This is where the shift happened. Can you see it?
He ran. Simple. One foot after another, after another. Running is what propelled him to become a star on the football field. Running is what made him a hero in the military — he sacrificed his life to save others by carrying them to safety. Running gave him more fame as he journeyed from the pacific to the atlantic by foot. Running gave him the drive to become a shrimp boat captain, which eventually led to him becoming a millionaire. The mental shift that took place after he broke free from the chains allowed him to become more. It gave him the power to believe that anything is possible.
So what’s so special about running?
To put it simply — it is the art of seeking. It’s the desire for something more, though you may not know what it is that you want. It will come in time. Running is the ground rod that centers the mind, body, and spirit. Nothing compares to the mental, physical, and spiritual act of running, which is why it remains to be hailed as the greatest sport on earth. It’s you against you. When you lace up, you know it; you feel it. And when you toe the line of a marathon, you better be ready for a war. Sounds intense, right? In reality, it’s simple. It just takes one step. Then another, followed by another.
It is action that delivers results and propels us towards our purpose.
What is our purpose you ask? Well, that’s up to you. But if you look close, I bet you’ll find that the answer is simple.
Forrest lived an amazing life, but here’s the kicker. It was never about him. Sure, the story of Forrest was, but he lived his life in SERVICE of others. He GAVE more than he RECEIVED. He gladly gave and never sought anything in return. You see, the story was never about him. In the end, it was about the human spirit. It was about the test and the trials that we all face in this life. It was about love found and love lost, and learning to let go of the things you can’t change. It was about the pursuit of something more.
Forrest was a simple man. He strived for more. He lived for others.
His life began with running, and it was filled with love.
In the end, it’s about love. That’s the story that he shared.
That’s the story that we all share.
Matt Moss is a writer and a runner in training. He recently self-published his debut novel, The Path of Man, which explores the untapped power of human potential. Connect with him more on his personal website at www.mossthewriter.com or @mossthewriter on social media.