Sunday, January 18, 2015

MORE milestones...

Years ago I lived in my comfort zone.  An area I created that was surrounded by "I can't" along with a pile of excuses.  I realized that if I never stepped out of that comfort zone, I'd be less likely to fail.  My former life was leading in a direction where I would eventually find myself swallowed by the excuses I had made for the way things were.  And I guess that would've been okay...but that small area I was trapped in would have been my life. 
No challenges and too many moments of weakness and "I want but can't because..."

Over time I have worked hard to break down the walls I built around myself.  It all started by setting a goal and taking that first step.  I decided that I wanted more out of life and felt like I could be more and do more.  The girl I used to be would have NEVER set out to run 3 miles, much less a half marathon.  I hated to run.  It represented so many reasons why I built those walls of "I can't" around me.  The run always defeated me, even when I was a child.  I was a bigger girl so not fast like many of my friends and as I grew older, I associated running with failure and defeat because I knew I wasn't "good at it". 
I have realized on this journey, if you RUN you are a RUNNER! 
That's the beauty about running...
It's our body, our mind and all in our control.  Our mind can start to trick the body into thinking it's ready to give up but then out of nowhere we find the strength to keep going....
Funny how a RUN can represent so much more, isn't it? 
I have learned that running for me is not really about the run at all.  It means I stopped allowing the easy life to be enough.  I decided I wanted to FEEL LIFE.  I wanted to feel alive and wanted to experience the things that "I wasn't suppose to achieve". 

13.1 for me... 
The first years (miles) were easy because I was young and didn't know any better, there are moments (miles) that are scary- the times when I feel weak and afraid of failing but then there are moments (miles) where I feel ALIVE- I feel free, strong and healthy!  If we choose to keep moving forward, no matter the moments (miles) that approach us, then we have overcome that obstacle and are stronger and further along on the journey of life! (the finish line)  
THIS race was not about me.  I didn't want it to be.  Of course I wanted the medal...who wouldn't?  But I knew what I was capable of for time so this one I told the Momma's that I would not leave any of them behind...if they were crawling to the finish line, I'd be right there crawling beside them and I meant it!  For some it was their first half marathon, some trying to just conquer another race but for me, this one meant SO much more. 

Somewhere along the route today I realized that this group is all that I ever wanted and I looked around and saw them high-fiving, hugging and guiding each other through it.  We had our phones and it seemed every few minutes we were pepping one another up via text or group message.  It was amazing!!  I was no longer that HEAD MOMMA they depended on, they were depending on one another to get through was beautiful. 
My hope was to share my story and passion and with that hopefully change and inspire ONE life and by the way things went today, it looks like I've done that but more importantly they are doing it to one another.  Even those that weren't there were sending messages of encouragement our way that were so heart felt and powerful.  Inspiration comes when that passion in your heart is so strong and you choose to share it with people that you sincerely want to help. 

That passion guided me to create this group and today we lifted each other up when we wanted to quit!  We hugged, laughed, took pictures and at the end there was hand holding, tears and tremendous joy!!!! 

Oh to finish a race on your own is amazing but to finish it beside the women that inspire you to do what you do each day?  THERE'S NOTHING THAT COMPARES TO THAT!!  It was amazing.  Life changing and a day I will never forget! 

Her words inspired me today...
"You know before I had and beat cancer, I would have never dreamed of running a half marathon...never.  But here we are!" Darn right!  She stayed determined even when her body wanted to quit, rest and give in.  She is a fighter and she didn't need this race to see that but it can now be yet another symbol of her strength, determination and ability to keep going when life tries to knock her down! 

The journey of life is forever-changing. 

We can choose to grow along with it or let it move on without catching a ride!  OUR CHOICE!  For me, the ride is SO much more fun than being a spectator! 

This race today makes SIX half marathons for my husband and I!  SIX!!!! Sharing this experience with him each and every race is something I will cherish for the rest of my life!  He's my partner and best friend in life so why not share these huge accomplishments by one another's side.  He was so supportive of the Momma's today as well!  Knowing he'd finish pretty strong, he encouraged and congratulated them as they crossed the finish line and received their medal!!!  PROUD OF HIM :) 

It wasn't until looking back at these pictures this evening that I realized how happy we look!!!  Look at us!  We hadn't even run yet and we look ecstatic!!!  Whew that is what life is all about, isn't it?!

Looking at my collection of "bling" today, I started to cry...
Just another symbol of strength for me.  Each mile that I run in these races, although I am not fast or going to win first place, is representative of so many defeats in my past.  I STILL sit back and think, did I really run 6 half marathons?  It doesn't seem real.  Because girls like I USED to be don't do things like that.  They don't accomplish big things and they don't know what that type of success feels like.  But if I have anything to do with it, I'm going to change the minds of women all around to help them realize that these goals are attainable and within reach for ALL OF US!   That all women CAN and WILL feel that type of success! 
And on a HUGE side note for this race I raised almost $2000 for ALS research!  My uncle passed away from this horrific disease.  I RAN in memory of him and for the Butler family, Josh is fighting this disease right now!  I ran when my legs felt like jelly because I knew they couldn't.  For all those that physically "can't" due to this disease.  I want to find a cure and fight back!  My small fundraising amount may not make a huge impact, but I was darn proud to help in the best way possible. 
Uncle Robert and Butler family, you were on my mind and in my heart throughout the course today. 

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