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Finding Alignment: The Story of Ben Hinton

Ben's injury would set him on a quest to finding alignment.
Ben Hinton
Year started: 2013
Next race: Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 5th
Favorite gear:
  • My mindset
  • Garmin 245

In 2013, a terrible accident changed Ben Hinton’s life. While home alone, Ben fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious for several hours before being found. After waking in the hospital still dazed from a traumatic brain injury, Ben realized his future was suddenly filled with question marks. Doctors doubted if he could ever fully recover. But Ben had an even bigger question: how could he reclaim his sense of purpose now that his life seemed derailed? This is Ben’s journey to finding alignment. 

As Fate Would Have It 

As fate would have it, Ben had already committed to run a local half marathon before his fall. Though he could have withdrawn without issue, something inside Ben knew he had to try. Just two months after his hospitalization, still struggling with severe balance problems and left-ear hearing loss, Ben crossed the finish line. What began as a stubborn desire not to quit, sparked into a passion to see how far running could take Ben despite his physical limitations.

Running Toward Positive Growth 

Over the next decade, Ben continued running half marathons while adjusting his lifestyle for his injury. He set his goals big with the hopes of qualifying for Boston and going for the Olympic trials. True to Ben’s spirit, when a badly timed foot injury ended that Olympic dream for now, he took the setback in stride and turned his focus instead toward publishing a book about finding renewal after hardship. Fittingly entitled “Let Faith Grow”, Ben shares how two key concepts carried him through dark moments toward the light: recognizing when you’re productively pushing yourself versus unproductively beating yourself up and discerning whether you’re running toward positive growth or away from underlying issues.


New Meaning 

For Ben, what began as an urgent escape from pain through running has turned into a central purpose guiding his days. Though he lost his former identity in 2013 along with many abilities taken for granted, Ben discovered new meaning (and joy) simply putting one foot in front of the other as he chased after personal growth. Defying the odds and his own prognosis, he emerged stronger than ever. 


Ben recently chose “alignment” as his word of the year. This concept grounds Ben in keeping fitness as part of a balanced life, also prioritizing faith, family and service to others. While still hoping to qualify for Boston again someday, his feet are firmly planted in today. Ben focuses on being fully present with his wife and young daughters each moment while staying open to possibilities, including helping fellow athletes excel.

Larger Purpose 

Running remains part of Ben’s larger purpose, re-aligned with his values. Though Olympic dreams slipped away (for now), Ben won something even bigger by finding himself along the marathon journey. All finish lines fade with time: careers, marriages, even life itself. What endures is who we become during the race. Ben Hinton inspires everyone who encounters his story on his own quest of finding alignment.

Ben continues running on his quest to finding alignment.