Thank you to Those Who Doubted Me, a Long Run Reflection

I didn’t plan a route for my long run – I’d actually call it more of a medium run in the grand scheme of marathon training, but anyway .. I decided to wing it.

The first two miles I kept crossing paths with two women who I assume to have been on a long run of their own. Sometimes I wonder if I would like training with someone else all the time, other times I love and cherish my alone time. As I went down a steep downhill I decided I would go run by my old middle and high school.

Memory Lane

I followed the big loop around the school where I first passed the running track. On that track numerous gym teachers allowed me to believe I couldn’t run that dreaded timed mile year after year. On that track I believed I wasn’t meant to run, I believed I didn’t have the ability to complete a single damn mile.

I jogged passed the old Freshman Softball field – this was overwhelming.  This not only stood for that one year of not making a JV or V team it stood for years and years I had devoted to the game of softball, the countless dollars my parents dished out for me to play on travel teams, stay in hotels, drive hours and hours for one day of games. It stood for that one year our team made it to Nationals in Alabama and my parents could only afford to send me on my own – it stood for each of those games in Alabama where I sat on the bench and watched my team game in and game out from the bench, my heart slowly breaking. In these moments I lost my love for the game.

I literally almost brought myself to tears reflecting on these moments, then I saw the lacrosse field. A whole different set of emotions came over me. 
Going into my sophomore year of high school I made one of the hardest sports related decisions a youngster makes in their life. I picked my one, I chose my forever sport.
This field stood for two high school lacrosse coaches who changed (perhaps saved) my life. HOW COULD I HAVE NOT REALIZED THIS UNTIL NOW!?

Timberlane High School Girl's Lacrosse 2008
Timberlane High School Girl’s Lacrosse 2008
Since the beginning of my freshman year my best friend at the time’s mother had been on me and encouraging me to be the goalie for the high school team (I had been playing defense in youth lacrosse prior and was an ice hockey goalie).

One day in school a science teachers approached me he told me he needed a goalie and wanted me to try it out. After realizing that softball was never going to workout for me after a while I decided to do it.

On one of the first days of tryouts I looked at these two coaches. What in the world? I thought to myself. There’s this one guy standing there cracking jokes and throwing out random ideas when they came to him and then there was that science teacher who took us on a trail in the woods to listen to the communication of the animals. ARE YOU KIDDING ME 

But, to be honest, looking back some of the most valuable lessons I learned were on these communication hikes and in small pep talks the jokester gave me. Now the science teacher had played lacrosse before and did teach me endless valuable lessons as a goalie but the point here is these two seriously changed my life by simply be living in me and giving me tools to succeed not only in those three amazing years playing high school lacrosse, but ones I can utilize for the rest of my life.

Between the walls of that small town regional high school are two amazing teachers and role models busting their asses to change young teenagers lives. I have no doubt they have changed the lives of many without those individuals even knowing it. I am forever grateful for their passion and support. Mr Pederson and RayMo thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

So, thank you to all of those coaches and opportunities out there that didn’t believe in me or didn’t work out, you lead me to some of the most life changing experiences which have landed me here today.

I challenge you to go on one of your runs without music, ALone, no distractions and just be, reflect, live in the moment.
Here I am today, happy and loving life
Here I am today, happy and loving life
Be happy, be healthy,
J
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