Some of you may have noticed my continually lengthening of time between reports even though I have raced since my last one. I owe you an explanation. As I sat watching my hero divulge years and years of secrets and admit to his lies, I was moved by Lance’s look of relief and my heart was filled with a realization and complete understanding about what it is to carry a heavy burden of your own creation. I woke this morning with an overwhelming need to tell my story and using this blog may be the best way possible. About a year ago my sense of selfishness crept up to a level that even I couldn’t understand or control. I made a lot of mistakes and I found myself “thinking” I was incredibly unhappy with my home life and that somehow it was holding me back. I had just been brought on to a spectacular racing team and offered an opportunity to work with my favorite shoe company. I had it all in my hands and I thought that going out on my own, flying solo would be the best thing. Life at home was nothing more than pressure into children I didn’t think I wanted and strained conversations over a late dinner because once again I was running late with other priorities. I didn’t take the time to work on or with the people or things that should have been first in my life. I ran to “run away” from it all and all I wanted to do was win. To run for the next victory, write a dazzling review of my races and show the pictures of my trophies.
So shortly after my success at Umstead 100 (literally a week) I packed my bags, left my husband and moved out of my house to a 1br. apartment in Charlotte. At the time I was thrilled. Being on my own, alone and making decisions only for me for the first time in my life. I could race everything and only have myself to deal with. Heaven was what I thought I was getting, but it turned out to be my own personal hell. Yes I had a shelf full of trophies but an empty apartment and when the music stopped and the lights came on in life, I began to realize how truly alone I was. There were some very dark days where I will admit that even brushing my hair was a chore let alone getting out of bed to run or pretend to everyone that I was OK and happy. Most people would not have recognized me or believed me in those moments, but they were there. I suppose everyone has those times and I am no different. But I am an excellent actress and can assure you that many people did not see the struggle.
Let me say now that I am grateful to my wonderful husband who remained supportive through all of this turmoil. It truly takes a beautiful person to love someone through their selfishness, and now is his time to be selfish and I do not begrudge him that. I will also give a wonderful shout out to all my friends who have helped me along the way and have been there whenever I have needed it. But even they couldn’t help fill the hole that I had begun to notice that running was not even filling. I turned to counseling for answers and to shine a hard light on what was really going on inside my head. I did not want to go, didn’t want to feel like a crazy person and didn’t want to pay someone to talk to me. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the outcome. Sometimes it’s just hearing things out loud with someone who doesn’t judge that can make you realize your own mistakes and help you find the way to a happier you. I send mad love out to my sister-in-law who listens to people every day and helps them in life; Kristen you are truly and angel on this earth.
As I sit here and write this, my heart and head are full of regret. I have hurt so many people; ripped apart my marriage hurt my husband and now I am left with the shattered pieces. Sometimes they say you must walk through the darkness to see the light and believe me I have a lot of walking to do. I can’t go back in time and fix what I broke, I can only move forward and ask for forgiveness. I have found myself turning to my faith for healing and for comfort and I have begun to “re-prioritize” my life. I have come to a deep understanding that first and foremost running will always be there for me. My irrational fear of not using my talent and the need to race/win have become laughable to me. What is a win if you have no one to share it with? Understand that I still love to race and win, but those voices have quieted for now. My focus has turned on putting back together my life in whatever way God has deemed me to. I am looking know for a balance in my life that allows me to live my purpose and pursue the running that I love. “God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers” is a quote that I found that quiets my restless heart. It is a hard long journey that I am on but I do not believe He gives impossible tasks. There are several things that I do know already:
1. I want my marriage back, if it is in the cards and my future. That is an unknown for right now, but I am patient
2. I want to have children. I want to pass on the passions I have and shape a life that I bring into this world with someone I love
3. I want people in my life to know they are loved, appreciated and are important to me
4. I want to continue deepening my faith. Without that, I am truly lost
5. I want to give back to the world in a way that is meaningful; I haven’t found that specific cause yet but I know it is out there
So as many of you sit scratching your head as to why I am writing this now and today?It is because I have decided to not race this weekend at Weymouth Woods 100k. A race that just weeks ago I was sure I was going to not only win but was training to set the course record for females. I am content in my choice and can assure you that I have been asking and praying for guidance all week on my decision. This is my peace and I am ok with that. Priorities lay ahead, racing can wait.