In the words of Chinese philosopher Confucius, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Doyle Holden, an alumnus of DSU, undertook a journey that may not have been a literal thousand miles. But mentally it might have possibly felt very close to that number. Holden, a 2012 graduate and former football player for DSU, embarked on a journey that shows with the right motivation anything is possible.
The first step of Holden’s journey began at DSU, after he suffered a back injury playing offensive line for the Trojans. He was forced to stop playing football and had to wear a back brace for nine months. To help improve the rehabilitation process, Holden took to running. It was this newfound interest in running that helped lead him to come up with an idea for way to honor his mother who was battling cancer.
Holden started out running for himself. But after his mother was diagnosed with throat cancer, his reason for running took on a much greater purpose. Doyle and his brother Quinn created the fund raising organization Marathon4Mom, to raise money for the American Cancer Society of Sioux Falls. They chose to raise money for this organization because of all the help it had given their mother when she had to travel for her treatments.
From April 8th, 2012 to October 7th, 2012, the brothers set out training and running marathons to raise money. They started with a twenty-six week training routine, to get themselves ready to run marathons. After four months into this dedicated undertaking, Cathy, the boys’ mother, passed away. Doyle and Quinn continued on with Marathon4Mom, wanting to finish what they started and honor the memory of their mother. In the eight month time frame, the boys collected 2314 dollars in support of their mother and the American Cancer Society.
During an interview a few days before his final marathon in St. Paul, Doyle Holden described some of the things that influenced him while at DSU. Asked if his experiences at DSU helped aid him in completing his goal of running marathons, he said that it had. He stated that playing football under Coach Anderson taught him many lessons that he still carries with him today. Playing for the Trojans taught him to be disciplined, to have a do not quit mentality, and to stay focused on what he needed to do. All of these things have helped him to complete his goal.
Doyle being 6’6’, 250lb, and having been in a back brace for nine months is a living example of what can be accomplished with dedication and the right motivation. When asked what advice he would give to DSU students about being able to accomplish whatever they set their mind to. He answered, “If you put in enough time, have good motivation, and reliable support around you, success will come much easier.”
Concerning the future and if he plans to continue doing marathons, Doyle said he was unsure for now if he will keep running marathons. Doyle and Quinn set out to honor their mother. Now that they have done that, it is time to rest a bit. Even though their journey is over, it goes to show that all it takes is one step. One step and you can soon find yourself a thousand miles away and that much closer to your dream. On the Marathon4Mom homepage, the quote from Confucius sits up in the right hand corner serving as a reminder to all who see it to take that first step and see where it may lead.
All photos provided by Doyle Holden.