FORT HOOD, Texas - To set an example for his Soldiers and to challenge himself, one noncommissioned officer took on a 100-mile endurance run Dec. 12.
Sgt. Joseph Sexton, a squad leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, entered the "Brazos Bend 100" near Houston to show his Soldiers what can be done with training and determination.
"I would like other people to be inspired to pursue their own dreams - fitness, education, anything," said Sexton, a native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Sexton, who has a bachelor's in Sports and Exercise Science from DeSales University, Township, Pennsylvania, and a powerlifting background, took on the challenge despite having very little experience in endurance running.
"I really started to get into a good groove around the third mile, and it made me curious how far I could continue at my pace," Sexton said.
The lesson in personal courage became a lesson in resiliency following a knee injury at mile 50 of the event.
"As competitive as I am, it drives me nuts that I was forced to stop prematurely," Sexton said. "I feel confident that I would have been able to complete the race in ample time without the injury. It's a shame too, because I felt really good for the first 32 miles."
Sexton wants his Soldiers to learn resiliency while watching him recover from something not going as planned, he said.
"My intention is to take the experience and the lessons I have learned to properly prep again this year with a much longer train-up," he said.
Sexton sets a good example for his Soldiers, said 1st Sgt. Jesse Leimbach, HHC, 2-12 Cav., 1st ABCT.
"I like to see junior leaders pushing themselves," said Leimbach. "Showing their Soldiers to break out of the comfort zones of what they think they can do [is vital]."
For Soldiers considering participating in an endurance run, there are a few things to consider.
"Previous health history, current conditioning, age, body mechanics and preparation for the event are key factors to consider," said Capt. Nathaniel Bolton, physician assistant, 2-12 Cav.
Sexton will continue to train and to run in marathons, he said.
"I will be back to the Brazos Bend 100-Miler in 2016," Sexton said. "I will not just finish the race; I will crush it."