Stronger Every Day

Author: Emily Munoz

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For many people, this call manifests itself in a need for purposeful movement. Whether it’s emotional or spiritual exploration, perspective changes or physical activity, movement is proof of life. It’s an indication that, while we may feel left behind in a world without our loved ones, we’re still called to lead full, rich lives that honor them and ourselves.


The Cape Cod Ragnar Relay was the flagship event of the TAPS Inner Warrior initiative, a program that, although still in its infancy, will serve as the survivor empowerment component of Team TAPS. Intended to rekindle the fire for self-improvement, success and personal strength, the Inner Warrior initiative is focused on creating community, teaching new skills and providing entry opportunities into sports outside of running. The Inner Warrior program will eventually include obstacle races, bicycling and swimming events, triathlons, land navigation and orienteering, rock climbing and more. 

Along with the emphasis on challenging physical boundaries - we offer everything from a Couch to 5K program to a marathon, with triathlons to come - the intent is to encourage members of the #TAPSfam to be stronger every day. 

The Inner Warrior program was created to celebrate the truth that love, whether physically present or not, makes us powerful beyond measure. More importantly, it makes us able to do things we could not and would not do alone. Together, members of Inner Warrior teams find strength where their loved ones did - on their left and their right. In each other. 

Twelve members of the TAPS family banded together in Hull, Maine, on May 12 to begin Ragnar's 200-mile relay on Cape Cod. Packed into two vans, they ran 36 legs on beaches, railroad trails, bike paths and small-town roads and sidewalks. They passed the slap-bracelet baton through cold rain, injuries, blisters, daytime heat and nighttime uncertainty as they remembered fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and spouses gone too soon.

The van signs proclaimed that each team member was stronger every day for the most compelling reason - the fallen heroes who continue to inspire us to make them proud.

Two hundred miles in a day and a half means there is little time for sleep, but a lot of time for the kind of bonding that only occurs when you're each running multiple times in the course of 36 hours. Between shots of Gatorade and almond butter, and amid clouds of Gold Bond, surviving family members made the kind of connections that endure. Being part of the Inner Warrior program means committing to be, once again, a part of something bigger. 

The Inner Warrior program is gearing up for our events this year, starting with a Wellness Weekend on Aug. 5-7. We'll also participate in the Ragnar Trail Relay in North Carolina on Oct. 7-8; Army Ten-Miler on Oct. 9; Marine Corps Marathon and 10K on Oct. 28-30 and community races during Veterans Day weekend. 

When you are ready to become newly proud of who you are and how you are living, when you don't just want to endure - you want to believe - then it's time to connect with your Inner Warrior and fight for the lives they wanted us to have.