No, there is no luck. I do not mean to sound like a pessimist, rather a realist. Luck is when you believe in chance, I believe in fate.. and the power of Grace.
Yes, Im Irish. I am also a smidgen of other things, and last year I crossed a finish line just six months after laying on my death bed. The day was March 17th, and the event was the Leprechaun 5 miler race and 2 mile walk. The 2 mile walk took close to two hours trudging along smiling and in pain complete with a wound vac, a suction system attached to a large hole in my coccyx, and a colostomy bag…. Did I mention the walker? My pelvis had just been screwed and wired back together six months prior. I had close to three feet of missing skin, and pain beyond imagine. I met a woman who was in a situation two years prior that had damaged her shoulder and left her with some brain trauma, and so we crossed the line together.. her with her cane, and me with my walker.. smiling.
The press was ecstatic, calling it the “Luck of the Irish”, but I knew better. We were more than two cute brunettes with blue eyes and stories. It was not luck, it was Grace. It was the work of a vast team of dedicated Yale trauma surgeons and nurses.. it was the best of the best Intensive Care Nurses that watched over my body day in and day out for weeks on end, and it was the unconditional love of family, friends, and the healing power of God.
I am not exactly sure why my life was brought back, but I do know luck had nothing to do with it.. Sheer will and determination from myself and those around me caused this body to heal as far as it has.. and crying out to our heavenly father for mercy brought the ability to walk again, and now jog.
When I was at Gaylord Rehabilitation Hospital over a two month span, they taught me to walk again.. and cared diligently for my wounds.. The hospital would not let me go home as I was too severe of a trauma, and knew Gaylord was the perfect fit. That is where I first learned of Achilles International. Throughout the months of rehab I began getting in touch with incredible people such as Trisha Meili who invited me to meet the staff of Achilles in Central Park and allowed me to invite my friend Erin who crossed the finish line with me on March 17th.
My emotions were never as conflicted as they were at the Hope and Possibilities Race in Central Park. I struggled seeing so many others that were severely disabled, and felt uncomfortable slipping myself into that category.. Clearly there were those worse off than Erin and I.. Who were we to be amongst those with no arms and legs? Those with life altering diseases? I had to remind myself that I had Lupus, Cryo, and already went through brain surgery. Still, I was not one of those that were disabled, was I too good? Was I that full of pride?
I struggled to accept my new body, I struggled to accept my new mind which dealt with short term memory and word recognition.. I struggled with my new limitations. I struggled with ME. When we begin everything with “I”, we easily get swept in our own world of pity and a lack of acceptance.. That is when I began looking outward, away from those that fixated on their traumas, and looked at those that overcame. I found myself getting agitated at others for complaining about their sore back, or headaches.. I found myself becoming bitter. It is time to focus on others.
Grace. We, not I. Together. We need one another. Relativity. Strength. Humility. Perseverance.
These became words that I needed to permeate into my every weeping pore.. until my soul could accept myself and move on. It was not until shortly after hearing the news that a long distance friends daughter became stricken with cancer that I felt myself become more motivated than I ever had. This young girls face beaming on my computer screen as she lay in a hospital bed full of IV tubes. She was full of hope. So I began running, jogging more like it.. more than ever before.. Because I could.. the pain reminded me of my path, but my breath kept me in check with those words that circled my existence- Grace, Together, Relativity, Strength, Perseverance.. and a new word.. Hope.. Funny how it seems to come full circle to the Hope and Possibilities Race with Achilles. Next month, I have the honor of running for this little girl I barely know that has inspired me. This past weekend, I finally jogged over 13 miles.. I did it slowly, and with discomfort, but none the less.. completed it.
Here is a link to the Half Marathon for Rowan http://www.gofundme.com/1oeadk
Today, as I was standing inline to purchase some training gear my phone beeped and I got the email that brought more tears of joy than I have ever cried in public. I was accepted into the NYC Marathon as a sponsored Achilles athlete. I quickly called Erin, who was also accepted.. and then sat in the truck and sobbed.. The NYC marathon will be exactly one year later from the first event I did six months after being run over… crossing in two hours.. barely walking over the finish line.. and one year later will have the ability to jog across a finish line as an Achilles Athlete. You know what that is called? A miracle. It is far from luck. My brother has told me this entire time, “Sister, keep looking up.. keep looking forward..” Well, brother.. I have and I will with each step right across the finish line in New York.
By the Grace of God.. Go I.. By the Grace of God.. GO US.
Thank you Achilles. I am humbled and full of gratitude to run as an Achilles Athlete. Thank you.
Siochain my friends.
With Peace and Chain Grease,