This is What Purpose Looks Like
On May 22nd, 2000 I wrote in my journal. I was a junior in college and I was running very fast. I had recently run 15:28 in the 5000m which was the fastest time in the country by quite a bit. I had also run 8:54 in the 3000m which was also the fastest in the NCAA. And I would run 4:12 in the 1500m at the Big 12 Conference Championships- also the fastest. Life was great. I was doing well in school, I was closing in on a national title. That night I wrote this in my journal, “Sometimes I wonder why God gave me this talent. I mean, am I touching the lives of other people with my running? Am I bettering the lives of others in any way? How? I was chosen for this talent, and for that I am extremely grateful, but I’m not sure why.”
I didn’t understand what good my success was for anyone besides myself, and this was something I struggled with when I had success. I wanted to help others, not just live in a world that centered around myself. Of course I wanted to achieve my dreams, but I also wanted to do something that actually made the world a better place. It took many years, but I finally understand why I was given the talent.
Once I was successful I had a platform, people cared what I thought and what I did. Without those victories and medals, people might not listen to my voice. And now I finally feel like I understand what I am supposed to do. Hosting women’s running retreats changed my life. Sharing my love and passion of running with women made me feel amazing and fulfilled. Sharing our vulnerabilities and building each other up, it has made me feel needed.
And now I have started my high school girls camp. Sharing with them the ups and downs of life, letting them know they are not alone, has brought true purpose to my life and my running. When I was younger at times I felt alone and anxious. I want girls to know they are not alone. They are powerful, messy, and beautiful. And I want to help them navigate the waters. This is my purpose, being open and honest with others. Without my triumphs and failures in running I wouldn’t have the opportunity to share myself with other runners.