Glenn Cunningham was known for his running, but that was not something he got to by design but by accident. He started running because of his accident.

When he was 6 years old, Glenn and his older brother Floyd were badly burned in an accidental fire in their schoolhouse. Floyd died from the burns, and doctors thought that Cunningham’s legs were so badly burned that they would have to be amputated.


Slowly—over a period of months, hard work and determination —Glenn’s legs began to function to the astonishment of the doctors. After he began walking again, he made another discovery. That it hurts when he walks but not as much when he ran.

For the next six years, he just ran rather than walk! Before long, young Glenn Cunningham was known throughout the community for his running. Because he ran everywhere. He once said, “I didn’t move 10 feet without breaking into a run. I ran and ran and ran.” By the time he was 12, Glenn—running despite having legs that were still riddled with scars—was outrunning everyone in his age group in his town.

He went on to run track at his school, becoming a mile-runner . In his last school race, he set a national record, running the mile with a time of 4 minutes, 24.7 seconds. He eventually went on to run nationally, set records and also represented USA in the Olympics.

His legs remained deeply scarred and throughout his life, he would have to massage them and spend time doing long warm-up exercises in order to maintain circulation. He couldn’t run smoothly because of his scars but he compensated with endurance and strength. His injury led to his recognition.


This story reminds me of what the bible says about God using the disadvantages of life for our good. Just as it was with Joseph’s life. Read the scripture here

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. “ Genesis 50:20

God is able to turn every situation around for good. Glenn’s situation was sad, yet from that difficulty came a new found gifting and strength which took him to a height he may never have experienced but for his tragedy.

Wherever you are in your life right now, understand that God can use it to accomplish His purpose.

God is on your side!

PS: You can read more about Glenn Cunningham here)

PPS: You can read my previous blog post on paying attention to the small things


3 replies on “HE STARTED RUNNING!”

So inspiring PB, thank you for sharing this amazing story of this young man with me. the word of God is saying to me right now that no matter what am going through in the life of one of my daughters leg right now is that God can use it to accomplish his purpose in her life. Thank you PB for allowing God to use you to speak to people even when you don’t know what they are going through.??

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