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As parents do, my husband and I are nonstop encouraging our kids to chase their dreams. “Reach for the stars! Aim high. You can be anything you want in this life, if you work hard enough.” And instead of just telling them, we really try and show them, too. We also make sure that they know that we’re their biggest fans. So, when my daughter and I recently learned that the DC Wonder Woman Race Series was coming to San Diego, we were stoked!
Truth be told, my ten-year-old avid runner may have been a tad more stoked about the actual race than Mom. When it comes to running, she absolutely crushes it! I, on the other hand, am all about a leisurely stroll with some great photo opps along the way. Turns out, this was perfect for us both! It was going to be an awesome day of bonding with my mini me. Just the two of us. I would cheer her on, lift her up and make sure she knew just how proud of her I am.
Exactly one week before the race, I received some terrible news that rocked my family like we’ve never before experienced. My younger brother suddenly passed away. In this tragic time in our lives, my kids witnessed their mom in varying states of shock, emptiness, anger, sadness, grief and deluge. This was all foreign to me. As a mother of four, I pride myself on maintaining a happy house with positive vibes amidst the chaos that comes with big family living. And here I was on the kitchen floor, my two hands cradling my head as tears poured out, begging for the answers.
After the toughest week of my life, I had to make a choice. I would either stay on the ground looking for answers that I may never get, or I would get back up and SHOW my kids what it’s like to have the strength and perseverance to get through even the most difficult of times. I chose the latter. But not without the help of my husband and our kids, plus family and friends near and far who constantly reached out to lift me up. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. And so I got back up, dusted off my super hero cape, looked at my daughter and said – let’s do this. Let’s do it for Uncle Scotty.
As we lined up to start the race, we were surrounded by thousands of wonder women, all racing for various reasons – but mostly to celebrate their health, inner beauty, strength and super hero. The crowd buzzed with an infectious energy as the national anthem so beautifully wrapped up, and the race countdown began. “Five, four, three, two, one…” And then we were off. Or, should I say SHE was off. My daughter looked me in the eye, and said, “I’m going to run, mom”! And, so she did. Proud-Mom moment right there, friends. As I walked, last but certainly not least, I took a moment to breathe in the crisp air, to look around at all of the positivity, and I thanked myself for choosing to be a part of it all.
As she ran, I continued my walk, meeting some amazing women (and a few fun characters) along the way. And when I finally turned the corner and raced toward the finish line, I could see my daughter out of the corner of my eye. There she was, waving her hands up high. SHE was cheering ME on this time. Of all the times I’ve been so proud to be her mother, this past week was paramount. She was kind, helpful, compassionate and encouraging every step of the way. And as I picked my chin back up, she made sure I knew how proud she was of me.
It was the perfect morning, running (walking briskly, if we’re being honest) alongside all my fellow #iamwonderwoman who continue to charge their capes no matter what is thrown at them! From the incredible Wonder Woman race tanks and wristbands, to the after party, to the shiny gold medals we were awarded at the finish line, this was certainly a race to remember. Who knows, maybe next year we’ll enter the 10k! We’ll do it for us, and for Uncle Scotty.
Thank you for reading my story of positive parenting and perseverance! To learn more about the Wonder Woman Race Series, click here.