Quoting the great philosopher Rocky Balboa (yeah, that Rocky), Croix Sather uses his best Sylvester Stallone impersonation to underscore his message: never give up, ever.
In that vein—mixing humor and his own emotionally stirring stories filled with remarkable detail—the man who ran from San Diego to New York in 100 days straight delivered a rousing speech to a crowd of Newtown business owners.
Sather, a resident of New Fairfield who grew up in Bedford Hills, NY, was the keynote speaker at the Newtown Chamber of Commerce Destination Newtown event on May 1.
His epic journey running across America was as much about living up to Rocky's inspiring message as it was inspiring in and of itself.
You see, Sather was not a runner. And the father of two was nearly killed and permanently paralyzed when he was a child growing up in Westchester County.
He was hit by a drunk driver while riding his bike.
The doctors had told his parents that he would be paralyzed for the rest of his life if he survived. But the boy who now epitomizes the saying 'never give up' woke up from that coma.
Sather's father, a second generation carpenter who was "as blue collar as you get," looked down at him and said, "That's my boy. You never quit."
Indeed, Sather went on to accomplish what some thought was impossible and downright crazy.
He ran 2,600 miles in 100 days—sometimes in temperatures of 117 degrees, and to the point that his feet grew nearly two sizes due to swelling and his body basically shut down several times from sheer exhaustion. He spoke to crowds of people every night along the way, too.
Sather's story is documented in his book, Dream Big Act Big.
"There's nothing special or extraordinary about me," he said.
"No matter what, I do not stop," he continued. "The ones that succeed, they never quit."