One day I declared that I was a runner. One day I declared that I would run a race, my race. One day out of nowhere I became fearless! One day I became an athlete. It was not because someone asked me what is it that I liked to do. It was not because someone told me that I should be a runner. I was inspired by another person's story that I never even met. Shoot I am not even sure if the person truly exist because I was told about this "Runner" from another person who could have just made him up right there in the middle of our conversation.
In high school I did play sports. I joined the tennis team and played doubles for two years. That was tough because I was doing something different, but my coaches excitement was all the motivation I needed to come to practice, play games and feel like I was a winner each time. Thank-You Coach Johnson-Nixon (of Henry High School) for sparking that flame. I wasn't Venus or Serena, but I had the determination and focus like I was. I put forth the effort whether I won or lost. It was also tough being a part of a team where the players had already developed a relationship with one another. They were all Asian females, but they still included me and my friend Leda Johnson, two Black females, that joined the team. If it wasn't for their inclusiveness and Coach Johnson-Nixon's excitement then I probably would have let the environment I lived in that produced the feelings of "you ain't gonna be nothing, so don't go and try anything great" consume me.
In high school I also ran track, well my track experience in the 11th grade was more like I practiced with the team. Unlike the tennis coach that I had who was more spirited; I had the "Joe Jackson" of track coaches. I ran a good run, better than most, but the coach harped and harped on my form until I was defeated. It stole my thunder for someone to be that hard on me, it did not lift me up, it only brought me down. I felt like the only thing the coach could see was all my flaws. I did not like that because in my day to day I searched for moments of sunshine. There was so much negativity all around me that I could not handle a coach being negative, even if they meant well.
Fast forward to my adult life - One day, right when I wanted to be more involved in the things that I love because my children were getting older and my time was freeing up. I started a new job and my manager told me a story about a man that ran races in each state and now he is running in every country across the world. Only his advantage was his wife works for the airlines. So we joked and said he better accomplish something with that opportunity. But that "running man" resonated with my soul. Whether real or not he inspired me to do something I had never done. I declared that day that I would #RunAcrossAmerica and the next race that came up I was going to run in it.
Be careful of what you ask God for because if it has ANYTHING to do with the will He has for your life, it shall come to pass. Not to much longer at my new place of employment and my declaration; I received an email about the TC Marathon Race for October 2015. There was a company team forming to run together. I immediately showed interest and we formed a running group. I went into serious running mode in August. Soon after I began training I had a mini stroke that landed me in the hospital for 3 days. I was so confused because my profile doesn't match a typical stroke victim. I was exhausted from taking the new medications I had to take. Worried and confused about what just happened. This was all happening at an inopportune time! The race was two months away. Then a week later I had some serious abdominal pains and went back to the ER and they found things growing in my gastrointestinal areas. This was a huge upset and discomfort. I cried out to God, what did I do?! Did I drink too much? Because just recently I had a major set back when something hurtful from my recent past resurfaced around the 4th of July and I found my face in a bottle about it. Thank God that He has delivered me from all that. So for the next 6 weeks I was worried, depressed, stressed, anxious, concerned & sad. I was also prayerful, determined, focused, training, optimistic and trusting in God's plan. My family was all over the place with how I was handling the health scare and was still focused on continued training and trusting in God regarding running my first race ever, 10 miles to the MN state capitol.
One week before the race, I ran a mini race in preparation and later that same day I had a mini heart attack and ended up in the cardiology unit. I was STILL determined and trusting God that I was gonna run this 10 mile race in 5 days. My family was going Ca-ca-Crazy! They pleaded, "Please Queen don't run, just run the next race!" I told them that I will be okay, I'm trusting God on this one.
RACE DAY!!! My first race!!!! My first official run!!! I was not nervous nor did I look at the miles ahead. When the gun went off I ran at my own pace. I ran that morning with excitement. There were so many bodies running for different reasons. People stood by to cheer for ALL of the runners. The music at the checkpoints was inviting and upbeat. The race track was perfect. The race was light and easy. I ran consistently and did not stop. I kept running until I reached the finish line. GUESS what!!! There was this woman in the crowd. A woman that I did not know, but 'til this day I wish I got her name. She kept showing up and at some point it seemed as if she was following me to cheer me on. She was God's angel. I mean it was spooky after the 3rd time that she was at the next check point. I thought to myself how is she getting back to her car, driving to the next point before I get there, park the car and then get from the car back to a spot on the track to be there to wave and cheer me on!!! I will never know who that woman was, but I thank God for her. She was my angel that day. Her presence during that race was a gift from God and I will never forget.
I will never forget - A tribute to my first race - MN 10 mile - TC Marathon 10.4.15
I will never forget what I fought through to run that race.
I will never forget my health issues that I faced.
I will never forget what I sacrificed during training.
I will never forget the amount of determination.
I will never forget the angel that was with me on that day.
I will never forget my friends at the finish line that shouted and waved.
I will never forget how they cheered me on.
I will never forget God's role in it all.
I will never forget how He comforted me and did not let me fall.
I will never forget the first experience that I had to stand tall.
I will never forget the first race of them all.
Queen is a Author/Poet that through her written works inspires, encourages and provokes discussions