Race day!! Shamrock 8k 2015

Over the weekend, I ran in the Shamrock 8k for the second time! I wish I could find a way to explain how much fun these events actually are without using scary words like “run” or “race”. It sounds intimidating, (and it can be), but once you’re there and actually moving, it’s a LOT of fun. There are people from all walks of life, every shape and size imaginable and they all share the same goal: crossing the finish line.  Everyone is excited, people are dressed up in crazy costumes and total strangers are cheering you on. Honestly, most of these races feel more like giant block parties where everyone just happens to be moving rather quickly. 

I always spend the first mile or two of a race questioning my sanity and cursing myself, (this time was no different!), but by the time I cross the finish line, I feel incredible. No matter how hard the run was or how much pain I’m in, at the end, I feel invincible simply because I did it. 

Once upon a time, a doctor told me that I could “probably have a mostly normal life”, and to be honest, he didn’t even seem to believe that when he was saying it. Before I had even turned 20, I was being told that I would spend the rest of my life in misery; that the best I could ever hope for was temporary relief and the possibility of a mostly normal life. Every time I went in to the doctor’s office, I had nurses and receptionists saying “but you’re so young!”, as though my entire life was already over. The worst part is, I believed them. I took their words as gospel and I believed that my life was going to be a living hell until the day I died. That would have been my reality, had I not realized one simple truth: the only one who could save me was myself. Disease or no, my happiness is and has always been in my own two hands. I realized that the only way to escape the hell I was living in was to fight. 
I choose to fight by putting one foot in front of the other. Every time I run in a race and cross that finish line, I win. It doesn’t matter that I will never be the fastest person there; the only thing that matters is that I fought my way through to the end. This time, my opponent was an 8k course along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, my goal was to finish it in under 01:10:00. Last year, I completed this same race in 01:07:49; this year, I was a little bit slower, coming in at 01:08:09. I admit, I am a little bit bummed that I didn’t beat last year’s time, but that’s ok, there is always a next time! 
  
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