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“It’s All Gonna Be Alright.”

Kathy reached out to me in an email, and we chatted a little.  Her story really resonated with me, and I wanted to share with you all.  Thank you, Kathy for your inspiration to #JustKeepMovingForward …no matter what.

“I had been a runner on and off since my early twenties, but when I married and had children I put my fitness on the back burner like [many] moms–work and family came first.

My sons were born 16 months apart and always involved in sports. By high school, Drew (my youngest) was swimming on a national level and Randall (my oldest) was running cross country and track and swimming for the high school.  I attended every meet and loved every moment of it, trying to get a run in when possible.

Drew signed in November of his senior year to swim for a wonderful college and received an academic scholarship as well.

But at 10:07 p.m. on May 17, 2013 everything changed.

Drew had just called and said “I am on my way home, love you” and while changing lanes he flipped his SUV and died.

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My life changed forever that evening.

The first few weeks were a blur, but I continued to remember something Drew told me after he had missed a qualifying time for a national meet:

“It’s all gonna be alright, just gotta breathe, breathe in and out and try again.”

So I started running again, swimming and–scariest of all for me–biking. And breathing in and out.

The first few months I was swimming I cried most of the time in the water; so glad no one could see my eyes because of my mirrored goggles.

I signed up for the Beach2Battleship half iron in 2013 and managed to fumble through it.

First thing I did after the finish was to sign up for the full iron distance at B2B in 2014.

I got serious about my training–53 years old training for a full ironman–yet I knew I was going to make it, I was going to be “alright.”  So I trained, and my sweet husband biked with me–teaching me how to clip in and other cycling things.

The morning of the race I am getting ready for the swim thinking, “It’s all gonna be alright.”

I had a wonderful day finishing in 13:59:10–well below the 16:30 that I was aiming for.

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And after getting approval from the race director to take my son’s hat and swim t-shirt from my husband to wear at the finish, I knew I was not finishing just for myself but for Drew as well.

I am a warrior – I am strong not just physically but mentally – and yes, “It’s all gonna be alright, just gotta breathe, breathe in and out and try again.”

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