For almost 10 years, after an unthinkable tragedy and living each day since with uncertainty and the unknown, I have survived by not letting anything get below the surface–not really allowing myself to “feel”. Until that is, I decided it was time to do something bold, to re-enter life and to feel again.
Enter the BoldrDash, a military 5k obstacle course and my personal vehicle back to the land of the living. Being physical was nothing new to my family. For years I watched my children with pride as they prepared themselves for competitive sports. They had an incredible work ethic and now it was my turn to make them proud. For my daughter, rendered totally dependent because of anothers’ actions, I chose the BoldrDash as a way to honor her by utilizing my abilities to the fullest. For my son I entered to accentuate how life goes on and we can overcome any obstacle in our way.
I wore a simple dog tag to the race. It said “choose courage”. Armed with determination and the mantra, “anyone can do one more” I anxiously awaited the starter pistol. Taking a deep breath and choosing the perfect boulder to accompany me on the first leg of the journey I started my ascent back to life. With each participant that jogged past or joined me in a challenge, I felt the breath come back to my body. Every time my feet hit the ground or my hands reached for another rung I could hear the beating of my heart. And, every time I felt fatigued I would touch the dog tag and think of my children and how hard they worked.
At 54 years old I was far from being considered an athlete. In many ways my training was more mental than physical. Yet I fit in just as well as those competing against the clock vying for a better, faster cleaner result and those anywhere in between.
The course was long, grueling and muddy. Yet, immediately after completing the course, crossing the finish line and getting my medal, I wanted to go it all over again. I wanted to because I knew I could do it better. I knew something else too. I am alive. I knew that the moment I finished because suddenly I could feel again. Feel… every ache and pain. It reminded I was alive for quite some time too as the soreness and the bruises lasted for days! Something else that has stayed with me since that eventful day is a sense of accomplishment. With my medal came the knowledge that I can be pushed to my limits and carry on. I can get back up and finish the race because I am BOLD enough!