OneMedalRosieRonald Cowling loved life.  A military veteran, active and a great sense of humor.   Fishing and hunting were some of his favorite pastimes.  His daughter Rosie was a passion.

Rosie shares, “my dad was always my hero growing up.  He was that all-American country boy that joined the United States Air Force at the age of 18 to serve his country.  He was that man that took care of his wife and kids.  He was the type of dad that would come home from work every day and spend quality time with his family.  He was the type of dad that attended all of my extra-curricular activities, school functions, and then some.  Once I had children of my own, my first at age 17 and my second 8 years later, he was involved in their lives.”

In April 2003, on his way home from an Elephant Butte Lake fishing trip his car rolled, breaking his neck in the accident.  The injuries he sustained in the accident left him a quadriplegic.  Rosie remembers, “I watched him go from a very active, caring, happy, funny person to someone who struggled to survive each day.”

“The last 3 years of his life he struggled mentally with the fact that he could no longer physically move, except from the neck up,” recalls Rosie.  “He had his ups and downs as would be expected.  No matter how difficult life got for him, he managed to smile more often than not, and most importantly bring a smile to the faces of those around him.”

In January 2010, Rosie started her One Medal journey. She runs for her dad “because he would have given anything to be able to move the last few years of his life.”  Recently completing the Run for the Zoo half marathon, she is dedicating her training and run in the upcoming Rio Grande Half Marathon to him. “To run for my dad is exactly that; to run for him.  I run for him physically as well as mentally.”

Training with the Oxy-Gen Morons, an Albuquerque running group, she meets her demons on the mental fatigue while navigating the asphalt jungle. “I actually still struggle with the mental challenges of running each and every time I run.  By remembering my dad and the struggles (both physical and mental) that he went through after his accident, I am reminded that I can do this.  If he could do it, I can do it.  The encouragement I get after each run and celebrating each small victory provides me the confidence I need to continue moving forward, not only in my running, but my life as well.  My enjoyment comes when I have completed my run, when I have actually physically finished running.”

Rosie concludes, “When I cross the finish line, whether it’s a race or just training, I feel euphoric and accomplished.  I did it for me, and ran it for my dad!”