13 Years Later, THIS Is What Strength Looks Like
I love running! I have been a runner most of my life, running with my mom when I was a kid. On April 4th, 2005, I was raped and he dislocated my hip so that I couldn’t run away. The doctor said there was so much damage, that I would have to walk with a cane the rest of my life.
I was depressed and gained a lot of weight, but I decided he wasn’t going to take any more from me; So I put my running shoes back on and lost 110 pounds!!!!!
Getting back into running was so hard, pushing through the pain and the doubt and struggling to just go one block seemed impossible! I started little by little until I believed that I could do it again! When I decided to register for my first 5k, I was so scared! I trained so hard, but when I got to that start line, I didn’t think I could do it! I looked around at all those amazing, confident runners and didn’t feel like I belonged. I really just wanted to go home, but when the race started and I started running, it felt amazing, like I was flying!!
I crossed that finish line with so many happy tears! I did it!! I couldn’t believe it!! I couldn’t wait to register for another one! I quickly signed up for my next challenge, a 10k!! My husband ran with me because my hip would still pop out every now and then and when it did, he would help me. We finished the 10k together and I felt amazing!! I told him I wanted to do my first half and he said, “If you are going to do a half marathon, you know which one it should be!? DISNEY!!!!!"
We registered for the Avengers half marathon and I was so excited and nervous!! I trained so hard, however, my hip kept coming out. The doctor said that with every dislocation, it is easier to come out again. I was forced to rest and was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to complete my goal! My doubt and sadness returned until I finally got the approval to run again.
I was scared, but I started slow. And when the day came and I was at that magical start line, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and told myself I can do this! I pictured in my head all the early mornings running before everyone else was awake. I pictured the hard runs when I pushed myself to do just one more mile. I pictured all the people telling me I could do it!!!
The race started, I saw my favorite Disney characters up there cheering me on, and I started running!! It was truly the most magical, amazing race I had ever run!! I was filled with so much joy, I thought I would never stop smiling!! I did it! I was a half marathoner!! Since then, I have run three other half marathons, and now my cane holds my medals!!!
I recently joined an amazing group of badass ladies that have taught me that we are stronger together. This April marks 13 years since my rape so I decided to run 13.1 miles as a celebration of life for myself and other badass survivors!! In the past, I've always dreaded this day. I wouldn't even get out of bed but these women who I consider sisters helped me find the strength to do this! They not only support me, but they are also running with me!! I no longer feel alone, I am no longer afraid because together, we got this!!!!