*I’m strong because being strong is my only option.*
Monday March 19, 2012 3:00 A.M. my phone rang. My mom on the other end frantically telling my dad was gone. “Gone, what do you mean GONE? What is going on?!” He was dead. My dad, my driveway H.O.R.S.E player, batter while I shagged balls, the funniest guy I have ever known, my favorite person. GONE. Forever.
What will I do? How will I get through this? I’m only 25 years old & I will never see my dad again? Am I strong enough? How will I help my family?
I struggled (still do). My goal was to stay strong for my family. I held every emotion in, I couldn’t show weakness. It’s not who I am.
After time passed, I couldn’t do it anymore. I needed a way to let it out.
I ran. I didn’t care where, how far, how fast. I just ran. I ran away from everyone. I ran from the pain. I ran from confrontation. I was trying to literally run away from myself! It wasn’t enjoyable. But I needed it. The therapy. My time.
I decided to do my first half marathon (2013) I didn’t know how to train, just did what I thought was right. My goal was to never walk. I was slow as a turtle but I did it! I freaking did it!
A few years off and on running brings me to April 2017. A friend asked me to take her spot on a relay team, I didn’t know any of the girls but said “sure, why not!?”
Those girls I met for the first time have no idea how much they have helped me.
They are my people, my running friends, my inspiration, my favorite people!
These friends were sent to me for a reason. I need them. They have showed me I can do hard things. That if I “dig deep” I can do anything!
Even on my bad days I can count on a run with a friend to make it better. The smile on our faces & a high-five at the end is all I need!
Every race I do I have at least one of my friends there competing or cheering on.
I love our “team”.
When I run now I’m doing it because I want to. I’m not running away from my pain. I’m running for me. It’s my happy place!
There will always be bad days but that’s life. We will always face challenges, it’s how you handle them that matters!
“Dig Deep” & you can do anything!
My dad was 48 years old. He suffered a major head attack in his sleep. I never got to say good bye. I know he’s my biggest fan, with me on all my crazy adventures!
You can follow Rachael on Instagram here.
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