As another year is approaching me I have spent the past several weeks collecting all my thoughts I wanted to say to end out this year and I am in awe of where to begin. 2013 has been an amazing very memorable journey. This year I have been lead down paths both fearful but exciting. I can gladly say that I have been willing the whole year long to make any dream I had become a reality. I consider this whole year to be my year of transformation into a person I have always known was there.
2013 has so many stories I could tell that have truly shaped and defined my life. There’s an old saying I’ve always read that if you fail to listen to life, life will give you every reason to listen. Well life handed me quite a few lessons from my lack of listening. Walking into the year I had a broken heart as well as a shattered little soul from blowing my qualifications for Boston. I didn’t let that stop me and continued to work, run and workout like a mad woman. I was asked to do not one but two interviews and a half marathon in one day only a few weeks after my marathon in December. So I took my shot at racing the whole thing with one of my best friends. That day on that trail life taught me a lesson which I had not paid any attention to because of my severe case of OCD. It taught me I was totally burned out and needed rest. The whole race I had my phone ringing with my interviews calling, and my friend Kristie took a look at me after the race and said “girlfriend take a break you need it”.
Did I listen??? No way, I continued to travel the world and run, race and network. I was connecting with people and runners from all over the world that were on this same quest I was on and I was on fire for it all and was madly in love with this life. While I was in flames for all of this, I completely lost sight of the true essence of my dream and quest. But in April of 2013 this essence was brought back to me so clearly…
April of 2013 has been the most memorable month of my whole year and the month I consider to have shifted my life in all the proper directions. I traveled to Boston to support one of my best friends who was running the marathon. I was stoked, and couldn’t believe I was actually going to be there, in the location I have always dreamed of. I was going to meet all of my Saucony family and many of my other running hero’s, this was simply going to be a dream come true for me. I never imagined how much those streets would actually impact my life. That sobering moment of truth came to me on marathon day, standing in those streets with chaos all around me, runners in disbelief as they were about to approach their
finish line and I was telling them to turn away! I stood there in that moment with tears in my eyes the world seemed in slow motion. I wiped away my tears as we were all taken to a hotel, I remember so vividly sitting on that lobby floor. Sitting on that floor I had many emotions, glancing around me and seeing all the victims, and scared people, the swat teams, and watching a big screen t.v. informing us all of runners who had been injured or killed. At that moment I remember thinking to myself I wish these people could see this event through my eyes because all I seemed to see was everything differently, at that moment the essence of my dream became clear to me. Knowing that the entire world was experiencing what it was experiencing all the separation, fear and chaos that was going on I was sitting there experiencing a blessing I was hearing life speak to me but this time I was listening. I have thought of that day almost every day since it happened in good and bad ways. I got home from my trip and began having nightmares of everything. I slept but couldn’t sleep, I was seeing those faces and hearing the screams but the most horrible thing I saw while I was there I kept seeing over and over. The child stampeded over as I was running to get out of a mall for safety when those bombs occurred. No one assisted this child, what I guess was bothering me most was I didn’t help. This experience of 2013 taught me to see not just with my eyesight but with more of my insights. My running journeys have always been important to my life because of a hard road I traveled as a child but since those moments in Boston I did realize I had ran by so much beauty and real importance focusing on my qualifications. My passion has remained strong in my quest even though I realize now I ignored so many signs and even ignored my inner voice at different times. But I finally reached a juncture in my life this year. I realized I had lived two months of my life as a child in a coma fighting to survive, and I had been told I would never walk another day in my life. But you know what I also realized I had ran 4 marathons since then and I had a story that was valuable to this world I could share and I finally had the desire to share it after these experiences. I was finally aware of my purpose of life and I knew this purpose would ultimately carry me to the destination of my dreams and I say this with humility, joy and much gratefulness that it has gotten me exactly there this year! The simple shift I made in life from a readiness state to a willingness and a more receptive state of mind has opened every door possible. 2013 has been a year I have completely evolved into the person I was destined to become. It has always been my belief that we are all on our own journeys in life to find ourselves. It has taken 20 years for me to become ME! It took me this long to recognize my burning bush, or the signs of my pathway in life or what ever you may want to call it. But when I became aware of what my life should be, those doors opened wide for me, and as I was gathering together all these adventures and accomplishments of my year it brought tears to my eyes simply knowing this girl from the pitts of South Georgia had actually experienced some of this. I have accomplished great things throughout my 2013 but the greatest accomplishment I can say I have made this year and know this for certain is being able to look in the mirror and finally see the person starring back at me. I finally see the survivor, running with true purpose in life and embracing every step along the way now, Stephanie M. Freeman. Never Give Up, Never Give In, Never Stop Trying, NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!