Things That Matter

Retired Marine Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, Who Lost Leg In Afghanistan, Crosses Boston Marathon Carrying U.S. Flag

In 2013 the Boston Marathon was viciously attacked. When a home-made bomb went off at the finish line, three people lost their lives and 264 were injured, including 14 who needed amputations. Since then, the running of the annual marathon has become a symbol of perseverance for many, with some of the victims of the bombing returning to run again. Runners have come from all over to show their grit, determination and for many, their patriotism.


Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez a retired marine and amputee completed the Boston Marathon with a U.S. flag in hand.

A post shared by Laura Vitalini (@lkv117) on

This year’s breakout Boston Marathon story of perseverance and patriotism is undoubtedly that of retired marine, Staff Sgt. Jose Luis Sanchez, who lost part of his leg in 2011 after stepping on an IED while on duty in Afghanistan. Sanchez completed the 26 mile race in under 6 hours, while wearing a “Semper Fi” shirt and waving a giant U.S. flag the whole way. Whatever your politics, there’s no denying his strength and bravery, coming back to run after not being able to stand for more than three seconds at a time.


In a video from The Boston Herald, Sanchez commented on his journey from not being able to stand, to running 26 miles.

Credit: Boston Herald / Youtube

“I wanted to not only recognize veterans and stuff, but everyone that thinks that they’re unable to do something. I couldn’t stand up for more than three seconds or walk more than two feet, and I fought my way for four, five years, just to be able to walk farther, be able to lift my body up. And I kept on pushing it. Mentally and spiritually I was good, so I wanted to push it even further and do the marathon.”


There were tons of images of Sanchez running with his flag on social media.

According to an interview with Runner’s World, the flag he ran with was given to him by his patrol unit as he recovered. The flag has positive messages written on it in marker. Of the flag, Sanchez told Runner’s World “I boxed it up for three or four years because I didn’t want to acknowledge it.” He then went on to say: “One day I opened it back up and read through the inspirational quotes they sent me and I was motivated.”


The crowds were all about it, cheering him on loudly while he pushed forward.

He looked strong from start to finish.


But no image was as powerful as seeing him actually cross the finish line, with the crowd cheering and his flag waving.

A fellow runner offered to help, but Sanchez was strong on his own.


If you’re not crying yet, put on your seatbelt and grab some tissues. He ran with his wife, who recorded and cheered him on the whole way, hugging him at the end.

As beautiful as it all is, according to his Instagram account, it was a long and difficult road and inspiration was only the beginning.

♠I HAVE BEEN SCARED AND FUCKING TERRIFIED OF THIS BOSTON MARATHON. IM AFRAID OF FAILURE AND LOSS AND TO LET EVERYONE DOWN, BUT THROUGH THE LOVE AND SUPPORT. I’M REMINDED THAT IT’S NOT ABOUT BEING THE BIGGEST , STRONGEST OR FASTEST PERSON. ITS ABOUT NEVER FUCKING GIVING UP. NEVER FUCKING QUITING. NEVER FUCKING SURRENDERING. IT’S ABOUT FIGHTING BACK WHEN LIFE PUSHES YOU AROUND. YOU FUCKING PUSH BACK AND PUSH BACK FUCKING HARD. IT’S ABOUT BEING FUCKING RESILIENT, KEEPING THE MOTHER FUCKING DRIVE ALIVE AND PUSHING THE LIMITS OF FUCKING POSSIBLE. THAT’S WHAT THE FUCK IT’S ALL ABOUT!!!!! ________________________________________________ #FUCKIT #FUCKSHITUP #SEMPERFI #DRIVE #DESIRE #MOTIVATE #INSPIRE #NEVERGIVEUP #NEVERSURRENDER #BERESILIENT #FITSPIRATION #FITFAM #AFFLICTIONSPORT #AFFLICTION #FIGHTHARD #LIVEFREE #LIVEFAST #LOVEHARD

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

According to him, it all started with fear, but an immense sense of hard work and determination has brought him all the way to where he is today.


Sanchez went on to work amazingly hard and used his Instagram account to inspire others with his journey, amassing over 30k followers along the way.

A post shared by Jose Luis Sanchez (@jls143_) on

 The man is a beast.


After the marathon, Sanchez took to Instagram, to drive the inspirational point home.

“Just wanted to let you know this is not about me. It’s about what this represent(s). It’s for you all to see how we all impact each other for a greater good.”


Hang on while I go find a gym to sign up for and hug my mom. No, you’re crying.


[H/T] Marine who lost leg in Afghanistan runs Boston Marathon with American flag

READ: This Former Marine Had To Self-Deport To Mexico Before He Could Become A U.S. Citizen


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Someone On Twitter Claims To Have Figured Out Who Bad Bunny’s Muse Is And We Are Here For It

Entertainment

Someone On Twitter Claims To Have Figured Out Who Bad Bunny’s Muse Is And We Are Here For It

Bad Bunny is as melodramatic as he is a hitmaker. The emo Latin trap king is always rapping or singing about a love interest, whether expressing heartbreak (“Amorfoda”), blaming his ex for the split (“Soy Peor”), declaring he’s better off without her (“Solo de Mí”), reminiscing on their past (“La Canción”), realizing he hasn’t quite moved on (“Triste”), acknowledging she was right all along (“Otra Noche en Miami”), imagining the life they could have had together (“Si Estuviésemos Juntos”), asking her to return (“Vuelve”) or reminding her that she’ll always be his (“Mia”).

Someone clearly broke El Conejo Malo’s heart — and a Twitter fan thinks he’s uncracked who the perp could be.

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, user and major Benito stan @vicentetrujillo8, also known as “god bunny,” made a convincing case on how Bad Bunny’s ex-girlfriend Carliz is the famed artist’s muse behind his biggest hits.

Credit: @vicentetrujilo8 / Twitter

“Este hilo es con fin de entrener y para hablar sobre una persona que ha sido fuente de inspiración para las letras de Benito, y como él la sigue recordando en sus canciones,” the Mexico-based enthusiast begins the thread, also posting an old photo of the former couple.

According to the fan, Benito and Carliz were high school sweethearts who dated from 2011 to 2017.

The pair allegedly worked at the Econo supermarket together in Vega Baja before his career took off in 2016. The following year, the couple, according to Vicente, had planned to wed. Instead, they split up. Since then, the sad boy pisces has made numerous songs about an ex, many that the Benito devotee believes were directed at Carliz.

In “Otra Noche en Miami,” Bad Bunny raps, “Pero son las 11:34 y de ti me acordé” y “En el garaje esta el Bentley que tanto querías.” In Vicente’s posts, he highlights two tweets from Carliz, one from February 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day, when she wrote simply “11:34” and another where she joked “voy a tener que empezar a cobra regalías.” 

In a later Instagram live, she also notes that her dream car is a Bentley.

There’s no solid proof that those Benito verses were directed to Carliz, but it does seem hella likely.

Vicente, however, digs deeper into El Conejo Malo’s lyrics for further evidence.

In “Si Estuviésemos Juntos,” an aged Bunny imagines a wedding with a woman that never took place, much like his planned nuptials with Carliz. Even more, the woman booked to be Benito’s bride in the video heavily resembles his ex, with bangs just as she used to have when they were dating.

In current songs like “No Me Conoce” Remix and “Callaíta,” Vicente is convinced he’s talking about Carliz.

Benito bigs up women who are both smart and sexy, he could once more be referring to women like Carliz, a student at the University of Puerto Rico School of Law who often takes videos of herself with friends singing and dancing along to reggaeton and Latin trap hits, oftentimes many of Bad Bunny’s own jams.

“Por lo que muestra en sus redes, podemos deducir que Carliz es una chica buena y estudiosa, pero que disfruta su vida junto a sus amigas. Una que otra vez, la hemos visto en sus historias de Instagram, bailar las canciones de Benito como Mía, Callaíta, No Me Conoce, etc,” Vicente writes.

While the fan makes a strong case about Carliz being the muse behind many of Bad Bunny’s songs, Bad Bunny has us thinking otherwise.

Credit: Chente Ydrach / YouTube

In an interview with Puerto Rican comedian Chente Ydrach, Benito noted that his songs were directed to different women and were even sometimes an imagining of what some of the ladies he has dated would say or feel about him.

In the interview, which was published on the funny guy’s vlog on December 24, the day Benito dropped his surprise debut album, Chente asks bluntly, “who are you talking about?”

“I’ve been a lover since I was a boy, since I was little. In the first grade, I’d bring a Valentine’s Day gift to school, and I would give it to the prettiest girl I saw that day. So since I was a kid, I’ve been a lover, and when I fall, I really love them and suffer and cry and think, ‘damn, I really love her.’ I’m of that flow,” he said, suggesting that he has had many heartbreaks and thus writes about each of them.

He goes on to say that the sad songs on X100PRE, as well as the ones that came before the album, are about different women from different times of life because he has gotten his heart broken on multiple occasions.

But he also adds that some of the songs are imaginings of what the women whose hearts he shattered would say about him.

“When I sing ‘Amorfoda’ in my concerts, I always say that I’ve fallen in love a thousand times, I’ve had my heart broken a thousand times and I’ve also broken a thousand hearts. So there are also songs that I sing as if the person who I fucked up with is singing it to me. ‘Soy Peor’ doesn’t signify that I’m worse; it signifies that she’s worse because of me,” he shares.

With Benito’s relationship with Carliz being his longest, and possibly the most meaningful, it’s likely that Vicente is right about many of El Conejo Malo’s songs referencing this specific ex. However, as a self-described lover and heartbreaker, Bunny himself admits that his tracks are inspired by several past and current romances, and the only one who could identify which emo bop is for which lover is, well, Benito.

Read: 7 Crucial Lessons On Self-Love, As Taught By Body Positive Trapero Bad Bunny 

A 70-Year-Old LA Marathon Runner Has Been Disqualified For Cheating To Get An ‘Impossible’ Time

Entertainment

A 70-Year-Old LA Marathon Runner Has Been Disqualified For Cheating To Get An ‘Impossible’ Time

Clem Onojeghuo / Unsplash

When Frank Meza, 70, hit a record-setting time back in March during the Los Angeles Marathon, people couldn’t believe it. The time, 2:53:10, was the fastest ever for a man his age. But according to the LA Times, The Los Angeles Marathon has new video evidence that shows Meza leaving the course during his record-setting performance in March.

As of now, Meza has been disqualified from the race as officials say the 70-year-old’s record time was “impossible”.

Officials with Conqur Endurance Group, which oversees and operates the LA marathon, say they reviewed footage from video cameras along the 26.2-mile race route. Footage shows Meza leaving the course for a portion of his run and reentering at another point. It was his time during that stretch was so fast that officials say was “impossible”.

“The video evidence is confirmed by a credible eyewitness report and our calculation that Dr. Meza’s actual running time for at least one 5K course segment would have had to have been faster than the current 70-74 age-group 5K world record,” officials stated. They say that his pace would have been “an impossible feat during a marathon.”

Meza, a retired physician, has denied all allegations of cheating thus far.

Meza has repeatedly denied any allegations that he might have cheated. He reiterated that again on Monday when he said he left the race course looking for a restroom. There are also some concerns from officials that say Meza was wearing his numbered bib on his hip instead of having it pinned to his shirt. This has raised concerns that Meza may have passed the bib to another runner for a part of the marathon.

But despite the accusations of cheating, Meza is standing by his performance. “I didn’t cut the course,” Meza told the LA Times.

Typically, many runners carry GPS devices that follow and confirms locations for marathons and track events. But Meza has never carried one. When asked about his record 5K pace during the marathon, he couldn’t say how he did it.

It’s significant to note that Meza didn’t enter marathons until the age of 60 and has since shown significant progress and record results after several years of running.

This has resulted in some controversy over Meza’s running times in several previous marathons. The California International Marathon in Sacramento disqualified him twice, in 2014 and 2016, for irregular splits. He was then banned, the LA Times said.

Marathon officials aren’t the only ones questioning Meza’s record time.

Credit:@falafelmywffle/Twitter

Many in the running community have frowned upon Meza’s alleged cheating noting how difficult and strenuous the sport is. On Twitter, one user wrote, “No way in hell Frank Meza ran 2:53 in the marathon. Definitely being a little superficial here, but he isn’t dressed like someone who is serious about running a 2:53 marathon.”

Meza has been better known in the LA community for giving his free time to low-cost health care as a former physician and helping local Latino students. He’s also been the lifelong runner who has been a part of the track and cross-country team at Los Angeles Loyola High as an assistant coach.

Despite all the bad press that Meza has received over the marathon time, he plans on going at it again in 2020. But this time, officials have again asked Meza to run with an observer to check his location and accurate run time.

Whatever the results are, he’s banking in on the chance to prove a lot of people wrong and again finishing the marathon in less than three hours.

“That’s my only silver lining.” Meza said.

READ: Guatemalan Mother Of Six Runs L.A. Marathon In Traditional Mayan Clothes