Beautiful pain: A Kadena Airman's story of resiliency

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Zackary A. Henry
  • 18th Wing / Public Affairs
We all have dreams when we are younger, whether that is going to space or going back to college, they take hard work and dedication. For Staff Sgt. John D. Music, 18th Maintenance Group, maintenance operations center board controller, his dream was to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. Fifteen years later, he realized that dream as he crossed the finish line of the San Francisco Marathon and an even larger dream he couldn't have imagined as a teenager.

"There we were, achieving my dream and celebrating my father's 15th year of sobriety at the finish line," Music said. "It was a special time in my life and that's a moment that my family and I will never forget."

Having a mother and father that both battled with addiction but came out on top, Music too needed to find a way to channel his anxiety and stay resilient to life's challenges.

"I used my parent's addiction problems, the abuse I experienced and the people who said I could never go to college and I harnessed that pain," Music said. "I use it as motivation to get that extra college class, to put in that extra hour at work or run that extra mile because when you go that extra mile when you don't think you can, that's what makes all the difference in your life."

When Music was younger, he had joined the wrestling team as a means of escape but after some time in college he decided to join the Air Force. Because he no longer had wrestling to rely on, he decided to try something new.

"I always used athletics and fitness as an outlet," Music said. "It's all about turning something negative into something positive; the strong man can build a foundation out of the bricks that were thrown at him and create something beautiful out of pain."

To date Music has run in nine races, five of which were half marathons and the other four were full marathons. His most recent accomplishment was completing the San Francisco Marathon July 27 a 26.2-mile loop course, traversing through the California city.

"I wanted to do something extraordinary, amazing things rarely happen in your comfort zone," Music said. "So I decided to run my first marathon back in 2010 and ever since I have been hooked."

Music's next big goals include running in the Boston Marathon, which he calls "the Marathon of Marathons," and completing an Iron Man event, which is a triathlon that consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a full marathon, totaling 140.6 miles.

He also plans on applying for the Pacific Air Force Marathon Team in 2015 to further his marathon career.

"Marathon running is just my way of harnessing the negative stuff in my life to create something positive as a father, as a son and as an Airman," Music said. "It's about being resilient to life's challenges."

Through his dedication and effort and without the intention, Music has become an inspiration to many in his life and strives to continue that pattern. One friend was particularly inspired and decided to run in the Okinawa Marathon with Music after a bit of training from him.

"His resiliency amazes me every time," said Staff Sgt. Geniss Harrison, 72nd Operation Support Squadron, aviation resource management specialist at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. "I believe he uses his marathon running to gather himself to bounce back strong and ready for the next challenge."

Music encourages everyone to find that passion in their life, no matter what it might be.

"You don't have to be a marathon runner, you can be a person that carves a pumpkin," Music said. "Be the best pumpkin carver you can be, as long as it helps you progress in your life."