Knowledge is power, or so, the wise men say. While many people take the knowledge that they have for granted, Joram thought otherwise. Joram was in his early 30s, he was lean and fit just like all the professional marathoners. He had been in marathon since his late teens and had excelled to the Olympics, earning his country several gold medals. Married to a young lady, Belinda Thow, with whom they already had two children, Joram loved everything to do with sports, particularly marathon. His wife, a beautician and a Kenyan by extraction, was known for her unconditional love for her husband. She could go the extra mile to make sure that her husband was on his top form whenever he was going out for his marathon competitions.
The biggest challenge and test to their relationship came when Joram sustained serious injuries in a road accident while headed for training ahead of the 2012 Olympics. He had been knocked by a speeding vehicle on a morning three months to the Olympics. The injury was so serious that Joram had to forego the competition and concentrate on his treatment. This was the time that Belinda, solidified and demonstrated her love for the family. She took good care of the family, including the husband; being available every time he needed her and made sure that the children remained strong and in solidarity with their ailing father.
“Baby, thank you for being there,” Joram said leaving the hospital after spending about one and a half months.
“I said I do and it came from the bottom of my heart,” Belinda said assisting him to get into the car, “and I have to acknowledge that you are really strong; you are my man.”
“It was such a difficult time,” Joram said almost sobbing out of love and appreciation, “without you, I couldn’t have made it thus far.”
When they got home, every member of the family was really excited; they made dinner and ate together. They had all the stories to talk about, experiences at the hospital, in school at work. It was such a lively evening until the father broke the news to them.
He wasn’t going for the Olympics; neither was he going to continue with his marathon career. It came more like the end of the road for him; marathon was a sport that he had loved all his life, something that he had sacrificed almost everything to build. Joram had spent a lot of his time building his career; he has spent years focusing on the grand prize and had managed to scoop gold medals that made both his family and country proud of him.
“What is going to happen about your career now?” the eldest child, Jane, asked.
“I have not been able to figure that out, but I am sure I will work out something good.”
“Dad will be fine; once he is fully recovered, he will definitely get something that will be good for him and for us as well,” the mother said.
“I am sure Dad was going to earn another gold in the Olympics,” John, famously called Johnny, the last child, 5 years of age. He said that looking melancholic.
“You still have that gold even here, Dad,” Jane retorted.
“Yes, I am going to miss the Moscow one, but then, I will be around with you here as we cheer our country to greater heights, that’s gold in itself,” Joram turned on his seat like he had felt some rippling pain going through his bones.
“I am fine, just felt something run through my back,” he said assuring.
When Joram fully recovered, he took his time to seek advice from friends, professionals, his wife, his children and anywhere he could, to be able to figure out what to do from then. Though he was entirely recovered, he had been straightforwardly warned by his physician not to go back to marathon. If he had to do something, it had to be less physically demanding.
“Darling, what are you going to do?”
“I am thinking of sharing what I have with others,” Joram said looking confident, “I am thinking of transferring knowledge and working with young people to build them in marathon.”
“How are you thinking of doing that?”
“I don’t know yet, but I will figure out something along the way.”
“I trust your judgment, only we need to both look into it together, darling.”
That evening, when Joram was relaxing at his house’s balcony, he started thinking deep. He was jotting things on paper, striking some off, tearing papers and in some moments, talking loud to himself. Yes, he was conceptualizing an idea of how well he could share the knowledge that he had garnered throughout his marathon career.
When the wife came to call him to go inside and have dinner, she found Joram sparkling with confidence. He was raptly concentrating on whatever he was writing and never even noticed Belinda open the door.
“Hi,” Joram said looking awestricken from his wife’s tap on his back.
“Darling, dinner is ready, the children are already at the dining room,” Belinda said catching a glimpse at what Joram was holding.
“That’s nice, I will be joining in a jiffy,” Joram responded almost not looking.
“Are you still busy?”
That is when Joram aptly turned and looked at the wife like he had not heard what she just said. “Oh, I am not that busy; I was just trying to figure out how best to share knowledge.”
“Yeah, I think I have an idea, I mean I came up with an idea,” Joram said philosophically, “I am thinking of utilizing my knowledge to mentor and support young people from around this locality to be able to make it in marathon.”
“Okay…,” Belinda responded gesturing for more.
“Young Marathoners Mentorship Program it is, you can call it YOMAMEP if you so wish,” Joram continued radiating conviction.
“So, how are you going to do that?”
“I will start it off with a recruitment drive to get young people who are into marathon, yet underprivileged,” Joram explained, “I will then start them off with morning and evening training and mentorship to prepare them for bigger things.”
“That’s a good idea,” Belinda said hesitantly.
“I will then carry out marketing, organize for events and find a way to connect them to other bigger tournaments so that they can prosper.”
The family then had dinner and they continued to chat about the imminent mentorship program. It was another good evening as they retired to their beds with Joram tasked with getting the papers for the organization in order beginning the next day.
YOMAMEP was finally registered and the organization carried out extensive publicity around the city of Austin, Texas. The publicity was executed through the social media, posters, flyers and minor events.
“Darling, I see the auditions bringing a lot of young people, what I am not sure of is how you will handle the masses,” Belinda said after checking the social media responses.
“We are going to begin with 10 youths who will impress our team,” Joram said, “I will need you around to help my team.”
“You know I wouldn’t want to miss that. However, I am having hours at work on that day,” she responded, “some three hours in the morning.”
“The afternoon will be busier and that is when I will need you.”
“That’s okay with me, darling.”
The recruitment drive, taking place on a very chilly day, hosted at Crawler University’s Austin campus grounds, brought more than 200 aspiring marathoners. Most of the participants were still in their mid teens. They exhibited passion for marathon and were ready to take to the track to compete against one another.
There was thorough scrutiny for participants with YOMAMEP’s team taking details about where they study, stay, parents and income with the intention of getting to ascertain whether they were really persons who were underprivileged.
When the young boys and girls took to the track, things were fun to watch. It was talent galore. The youths showed tight competition that surpassed YOMAMEP team’s expectations.
The talent scouting event went up to around 4pm in the evening and they selected 20 aspiring marathoners. They were all supposed to go through a 3 months program within which the top 10 would be selected for the full program.
“You guys have performed exemplarily, but like in every competition, there is always a winner and a loser,” Trevor, one of YOMAMEP’s team members said, “It was not easy selecting the top 20, understanding that we consider so many things apart from just the ability to run.”
He took a small pause, sipped his water and hooked his eyes to the young people again.
“The selected persons will be expected to report to Jumbo Junior grounds everyday from Monday to Saturday beginning 24th of this month for training and further selection as we focus on getting the 10 best from the list,” Trevor continued.
“It will not just be a narrow based training, but a broad based mentorship program that will include attending tournaments, having talks with some of the renowned marathoners, including Joram who is with us here today and more.”
Trevor then read all the names of the selected 20 youths and then Joram finalized with a brief on the exact nature of the mentorship program.
Finally, the training took course and the top 10 youths were selected. They received priceless support and mentorship from Joram. They also met some of the greatest marathoners and sprinters from all over the country. The team started getting invitations for tournaments and the young people began to excel and earn money.
The marathon mentorship program expanded to be recognized by several state agencies and often received awards for its excellent work in mentoring young people.
YOMAMEP is currently mentoring well over 200 youths from all over the country under Joram’s stewardship. The program has seen several young people turn their lives around into persons revered by the society due to their marathon prowess. Joram has also received accolades from all quarters courtesy of his irreproachable role in working to transform lives of the needy.
In fact, two of the young people managed to scoop gold medals in the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.