At our pivot points, women I coach often are asking, “what’s next?” I call this a pivotal journey. While the answers are often inside ourselves, we may not have the confidence, risk appetite, or belief that we even know what we want. In our last blog post, we shared the story of Ashli and her pivotal journey asking for what she wanted. This post features Carrie, and this story brings tears to my eyes every time I share it. It is another great example that illustrate that we do know what we want when we prioritize the time to reflect and give ourselves space to self-discover. Also, it is our choice to believe in ourselves and fuel our confidence to take the risk and make the change.
Similar to Ashli’s story from last time, Carrie was also at a cross roads personally and professionally. She took time to reflect on her true passions and purpose and renewed a love of running marathons. Once she knew what she wanted, she prioritized her passion. Here’s Carrie’s story…
“In 2014, I became reacquainted with the once dreaded half marathon. I had ran the 500 Festival Mini Marathon each year from 2007-2009, but it was not as enjoyable and the training was difficult. Once I became a mother, going out for a run was a chance for ‘me’ time. But it was so much more than that. It was an outlet to digest my thoughts – almost a form of meditation.
Much to my delight, my oldest sister signed up to run with me – her first half marathon. Initially, we set out to do this as a fitness challenge. But before training officially began, our half-marathon quest suddenly took a turn to be so much more when my sister’s friend, Connie (aka “Wonder Woman”), was diagnosed with cancer. From that point on, I had a purpose and focus. Something to keep me going. Something much more powerful than a fitness challenge. Sadly, Connie’s journey came to an end along with the lives of others who I also thought about during my training runs.
Then, in November 2014, just days after running in the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon, the world stopped turning during my car ride home from work. That evening, I learned that my mom – the lifeblood of my family and all around amazing woman – was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to other areas in her body. My family – who is my everything – joined even closer together to fight this awful disease alongside my mom. From that point forward, when I ran, it was for my mom. I dedicated my races and every mile of each race to her. And while we had success with a few courses of treatment, at the end of each high was a low – the cancer eventually grew smarter. Unfortunately, the cancer and side effects of the treatments got the best of her and she passed on June 30, 2016. She’s in peace and comfort as she looks down from above on all of the lives she had touched.
Since 2007, I have ran 11 half marathons – of which 8 have been since becoming a mother. I haven’t trained for one since my last race in April 2016, though I still workout each week and participate in 5K races. I do it for me, I do it for my family, I do it for my children. When I see my children at the finish line with open arms, it inspires me.”
Carrie’s story underscores the importance of channeling your passions, and prioritizing time to fulfill your passions, and also the importance of showing your children what good looks like.
So, ask yourself, what’s next for you? If you could benefit from focusing on your passions and purpose, channel Carrie’s story. Ask yourself “what makes you excited?,” build a plan, prioritize self-care, and take the risk. You deserve it. Remember, you can only make others as happy as you are yourself.
If you liked this post, join our next free online workshop August 3. We’ll be talking about generational leadership and how to engage across generations as a leader.
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