A mile in the dictionary has a few definitions. However throughout the years, I can describe a mile in many ways…
I have had my dream of The Boston Marathon for quite a long time. I remember back in 2006 after completing my first marathon saying to my coach “Boston is next baby”. This journey to Boston hasn’t been an easy road. Its been rough, rocky and I’ve had several meltdowns to figure out how to sustain myself and stay afloat. Although I have had many roadblocks and several setbacks through these years, I’ve gained wisdom as well as received so many clues from life on my
sense of actual purpose from following this dream. Life’s circumstances have definitely not gone the way I had them planned. Unfortunately, the pattern of life does not necessarily go as we always plan. Rather than wondering about or questioning these directions I’ve learned to accept the fact that there is a path before me and it will help me achieve this goal, only with a little more value.
As I get older older, this past of mine gets clearer to me. I understand more of it everyday and I do not question or regret anything about it anymore. My beliefs have always been that every person has a true purpose in life. I remember questioning this purpose when I was younger and I have even asked why I was still alive. I recall going over past events with my running coach Frank and he couldn’t believe the things I have experienced in my life but he always reassured me there was a reason for it all. Today I know more of what this reason means than anything in my life. I hear my inner voice speaking to me almost daily, and I have to confess I have heard this voice or drive before but apparently I wasn’t ready to recognize it then. But the events I’ve experienced make it all vivid.
Every week I meet someone who impacts my life in a way that is unbelievable. Ten years ago or even four years ago if you knew me you would have seen a complete train wreck. I allowed people to dictate my life and I had no clue at all what life was really about, even after all I had experienced. I had an interview with a magazine this week on the power of sharing your strengths with people and it was amazing. When I sat down with this lady she really had no clue to why they assigned her to my story. She began asking me things on my running and I would always respond but then I started speaking to her more on my accident and certain sequences of my life in the past years. We sat there for hours talking. She was astonished of the things I was saying to her. But I have to admit also that most of these things have been pretty astonishing or unbelievable to me. We were both in tears by the end of this interview. These tears I shed today are more happiness and grateful tears than the tears I shed years before.
How did I reach this point in my life??? I would say after not qualifying for The Boston Marathon in December different things began to happen and I recognized their relevance. Then of all things when I was in Boston in April and the bombings happened it made such a difference on the outlook I had on my life of running. I honestly believe that after that day I actually let go of all the tight grips I had on my life and my heart opened up to more peace of mind and I embraced life for a change.
Various circumstances have occurred especially recently that gave me a true realization of myself. One instance recently I can tell you of is sitting in the beauty shop, I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years. We sit down and begin talking about our children and she asks me out of the blue some questions on seizures. She knew I had dealt with them and she had been diagnosed with an illness causing her to have them now. As she was talking I could hardly hold my tears back. I knew immediately the strength and experience that I developed from that tough road in my life so long ago was inspiring her life and this made me happy.
The next event recently was the weekend of my 35th birthday I had a photo shoot with a tennis wear company in Atlanta for their catalog. The reason I got this job was because the guy who owns this company contacted me after reading my blog and noticing I had a brain injury as a child. The day of our shoot his phone begins to ring and he glances over and said I’m going to have to go pick up my son. It wasn’t an issue at all to me because I scooted up to Starbucks for coffee. He pulls back up shortly after and says he can just pick me up from there so I bounced in his car ready to head back. At the very moment I got in his car I’d like to say I experienced that exact realization or voice or whatever you describe it as. I looked in his back seat and his son was back there. His son was 8 years old and I realized then why he was interested in me for his tennis wear. His son suffered a brain injury after receiving immunizations at a year old. As I glanced back at the child myntears began again but I held them off with every bit of strength I had in me. I looked at his son at 8 years old and it was exactly how I layed in my hospital bed when I was in a coma. Grinding my teeth, and clinching your arms up, and he even had a feeding tube. His grandmother fed his lunch to him after we walked in their home, I stared over at her doing this and remembered my nurses doing the same for me as a child. I wasn’t at all scared to hold his hand or talk to him in fact I even held him and they took a picture of us. Experiencing something this unique the day before I turned 35 years of age meant the absolute world to me. The dad was very stressed initially but as I instantly bonded with his son and family I could see and feel the calmness in him and I gave him my best advice. This is life, and every bit of our lives are not easy but accept things you know you can’t change and enjoy it. Embrace every part of it, because this happened to him for a reason and everything will work out. Seeing calmness in his face gave me contentment and the best birthday gift I had ever received! A realization of what I had to be thankful for!
I was doing speed work on the track last week. I was running around this track and noticed a lady that was walking it, the friends that were with me said this is her third time at the track. Well if you know me I walk up to her doing a recovery jog and say hey girl I hear this is your third trip up here and that’s pretty bad ass! She looks at me and smiles and says yes I am trying to loose some weight because my husband may be coming home soon. I said oh really, that’s cool, I am so proud of you, where is he at, I was thinking she was gonna say he was overseas or out of state or something. She then looked at me sharply and said he’s in Sheppard’s hospital with a broken neck and they say he may never walk again. When she said this to me speed work was the last thing I had on my mind! I could not believe what I was hearing. I said oh really, well you see this girl right here running on this track? She was told that same thing and I just did six 800 meters! I turned and went to my car and got her one of my Never Give Up cards and started encouraging her more. When she walked away she said thank you with tears in her eyes and my heart absolutely melted and I loved this feeling of value to someone else.
To end my entry I want to say value every individual that steps in your life. These people are all relevant to your life story and your dream. I’ve learned that life isn’t just about what you can have or do, for the first time in my life I believe I can actually see and I see my purpose clearly and I will honor this! Never Give Up, Never Give in, Never Stop Trying, NEVER EVER GIVE UP!