Live Life Proud
In my world, mobility is fluid and ever-changing. As a person with disabilities, I've learned to embrace my irregularities and be proud of my ability to adapt to different situations.
I’ve learned to be quite proud of these legs, as irregular as they may seem. I mean, the right one literally tried to kill me more than once and yet, here I am. Still standing. Well, most of the time. Living my best life climbing mountains, overcoming obstacles, winning races, rolling through parks, and loving every minute of it.
Movement is movement, regardless of whether you’re standing or sitting. I’ve had so many moments in my life when I’ve felt pride: winning the Boston Marathon; winning the TCS NYC Marathon three times; becoming one of, if not the first woman to win the Boston Marathon and NYC Marathon in the same year; facing my fears to film with Girls on the Run, Now Foods, Milk, and PBS; competing just days after unexpectedly losing my mom; overcoming on-course challenges and adapting to the right here and right now. Those are all moments I am extremely proud of.
But when it comes to my proudest moment, crawling to the summit of Killington Mountain for the Spartan Beast in September 2022 takes the cake. I stopped caring about how I looked or what people thought and fought for the finish - authentically and unapologetically. I suffered beyond measure that day and I loved EVERY SINGLE moment.
I knew going in I could not stop moving if I wanted to beat the time cutoff. I passed able-bodied athletes on the mountain and kept grinding for nearly 13 hours, stopping for a cumulative total of 12 minutes, only to walk away with a finishers medal. A simple piece of metal hanging from a ribbon….and a whole heap of pride. Every morning we wake up, we decide how we live our lives. We get to choose how we’re going to take on every challenge. We get to choose if we give up or get up. And, believe it or not, there’s beauty in suffering. When we suffer, we grow. When we grow, we learn to push past our limits, overcome obstacles, and keep moving forward. Keep moving. Keep shining. Keep showing up and making yourself proud. We have the power to overcome any obstacle and make ourselves proud every day.