I saw this contest pop up on my Facebook feed from the Women’s Running page and thought what the heck I’ll fill it out real quick, why not. They ask you a few questions about yourself including “what was your FIND YOUR STRONG moment” and while I have a few (we all do I’m sure), a big moment for me was definitely when I was training for my first (and only so far) half ironman.
I had decided to finally go through with the genetic testing that I had been putting off to see if I carried the BRCA 2 Gene Mutation. Not surprising to me, I found I did in fact have the mutation and had some big decisions to make. I very clearly remember every day swimming laps, biking & running- often times doing two a days- thinking about the whole situation and what I would do. I ALWAYS say how much the training got me through the whole situation in a much more positive place. I had an outlet. And what could have been a grim thing to find out, turned out to be an experience that I will always be stronger because of- I will always be a little less fearful and a little more hopeful. Knowledge is power and I am so thankful to know what I know so that I can be proactive throughout my life.
If you have been reading our blog or following me on twitter at all- you know that in October, I had a prophylactic double mastectomy– a decision that was easy but scary to make. It’s a strange thing – usually when someone has this surgery- they HAVE to in order to save their life. I am forever grateful that I met this surgery under the circumstances before it might have came to that. I will never regret my decision.
Before I had my surgery, I of course had to get a mammogram & MRI to make sure everything was fine. I found out that my MRI results were clear and all looked good the day before the race. (After staring at my phone for 2 days straight just waiting for it to ring… you should have seen me bolt out of the room to answer the phone at the athletes meeting!)
As I competed the next day, I felt strong, courageous and determined. When I got to the run course (my favorite leg), I told myself- This is your time. This is what you are good at. Run these people down and be grateful that you are out here doing what you love. If you decide to be thankful that you GET to run and get to do what might feel hard at the time, you will see it in a whole new light.
Finding your strong oftentimes means being courageous, doing things you never thought you could and once you do those things, believing in what’s next.
And here are some other examples of finding my strong:
My first open water swim:
Running my marathon PR in 3:13- a pace I once thought would be insane to try and run for 26.2 Miles:
Hitting the run course after swimming 1.2 miles & biking 56. Not sure what my body had in store for me, but determined to run people down on the course because running is my strength. You can read my RACE REPORT HERE.
My long term BIG dream goal is to break 3 hours in the marathon. (Along with many other smaller goals along the way of course!) Do I think I can do it? YES. DO I think it will be insanely difficult? YES. But I’m up for the challenge.
We all go through tough times. And have our own outlets for dealing with them. Running to me is the outlet that gets me through. It got me through two miscarriages, my BRCA 2 ordeal & anytime I’m sad or fearful or just need a mood lift, I know what I need to do. It’s not the the end all be all, but I certainly don’t know where mental state would be without it!
I am so thankful I found this gift back in high school… when I was 15 and my best friend (still my best friend to this day) convinced me to join the cross country team.
Thanks for your support and I’d LOVE your daily vote – voting ends Wednesday, July 2nd! Please share with your friends and family and help be rally some votes.