With peace signs, a smile, cowboy hat and no shirt, Bronco Rip bounces off pavement as he interacts with drivers on his daily run.
Local passersby, meet Mustang resident Anthony Thompson.
“When I’m running and I’m throwing up peace signs to people, it’s my way of connecting with you even if it’s for a split second,” Thompson said. “I don’t think we have to come up with some new product that will change the world. If you want to change the world, it starts in your own backyard.”
The Oklahoma City native is on a mission — something he calls The Movement — and wants people to join him.
After graduating high school, Thompson joined the military, serving three and a half years in the Army. He didn’t initially enjoy running in basic training, but after repeatedly telling himself that he did, Thompson said he fell in love with it.
“I just love to push myself and see what the capabilities are of the human body,” he said.
The infantry serviceman had an appetite for travel and culture, which has remained with him, especially on his runs.
Thompson’s Movement began after serving in Iraq.
“Coming back — struggling with a lot of the things we struggle with as soldiers,” Thompson said. “The wounds that I have from war, you can’t see.”
The mental health journey has been anything but easy for Thompson, like many other veterans. Running, which sparked The Movement, has been impactful for Thompson, who suffers from PTSD and depression.
The Movement was not specifically named, as Thompson did not want it to be boxed in to one theme. He runs for everyone.
Like the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Thompson’s mission embraces mental health leaving no one behind.
The runner puts in anywhere from eight to 32 miles each day. His average is 12 miles.
As of now, Thompson runs a nine-minute mile, but strives to eventually break the four-minute record. He dreams of running across the nation and, hopefully, internationally.
To sponsor Thompson’s goals, contact him at 405-683-6951.
Awareness of kindness is also important to Thompson, who is grateful of Mustang’s community, which he said has welcomed him.
“Peace is something that can happen just with you being conscious of it,” Thompson said. “I’m just trying to create joy and love, that’s all.”