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The Story Behind a Person: Jesse Dietrick

We all have a story.

Sometimes having a bigger story can lead to bigger moments in life.

The stories that we tell of our lives attract others to us. What is your story?

This past Saturday I had the great opportunity to lead a warm-up for Team in Training. Team in Training is a running group that raises money for blood cancer research and trains for different running races across the United States.

I came into Fitness Quest 10 and met a group of 20+ people that were awe-inspiring. Their stories for “why they run” hit home with me since I have personally had multiple family members and numerous friends affected by cancer.

These people had similar stories. Some of them are survivors. Some of them have lost love ones. Some of them are running to support someone who is going through it as we speak. All of their stories and reasons for active involvement in Team in Training had great purpose.

One of the runners was a man named Bernard who’s story defines why I do what I do.

Bernard was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012. As Bernard explained to me, none of us ever expect being diagnosed with cancer but in some way, shape, or form we have all been affected by it. He was a competitive runner before he was diagnosed, and now that he has beaten it, he is running again for an even more important reason through Team in Training.

On top of that, he has also started his own official non-profit organization called B.Strong who’s mission is, “to educate the public about Leukemia and provide information on becoming a bone marrow donor, grant temporary financial assistance to low-income leukemia patients and their families, and host sporting events in local communities to make the public aware of how they can help.”

What made this inspiring story even greater was the energy he had about him. Smiling, happy, energetic, healthy, vibrant. I don’t think that you would guess that he once had cancer. There was something about him being with Team in Training and at Fitness Quest 10 on a Saturday morning at 7am that you could tell was part of his purpose in life because he lit up around the whole atmosphere.

On top of all of this, he was a big-time Fitness Quest 10 fan through his involvement in the fitness industry and with TRX. Everything that I showed him in our gym had meaning to him. From our mottoes, t-shirts, equipment, and energy of the gym, you could tell he was inspired to be there.

I told him about my story of finding FQ10 and how I moved out to the west coast from Pittsburgh. Funny thing he told me was that he was planning a trip out to Pittsburgh in two weeks.

So was I.

So happens we’re heading to and from the ‘burgh on the same dates.


Now we’re planning to meet up at the airport to reconnect.

Coincidence? Or did this happen for a reason? Either way I learned something from this experience about the power of our stories, about doing something that is greater than yourself, about finding PURPOSE in life. The rest of my day was on fire.

A great quote from an article my dad sent me read, “if you have a vision for something bigger than you, than that vision is what your live for. Once you have an idea and it’s birthed through you, then that idea no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the world. And it’s your job to work for that idea.” I saw the energy this man had for the work he was doing and it seems clear that if I were to read him this quote he’d agree with it.

We all have stories. What are our stories? How can we use our story and put PURPOSE behind it to empower someone else? Do we take the time to listen to other people and hear what they are about? And by listen, I mean do we reallylisten to them? I could have very easily not have talked to Bernard and just simply gave them a warm-up but then I would not have this story to re-tell and I would not have learned from it. These stories that we hear have the power of catapulting our lives especially when we may be down.

We need to be able to listen to others. We need to be able to tell our story, but more importantly, we need to be able to find PURPOSE behind our story. No matter how great or small we think our story is, there is meaning behind it.

Love to all and live a life worth telling a story about,


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