- Stephanie McDuffie
- Hello I am Stephanie M. Freeman and I have created this to let everyone walk with me through my journey I am taking to accomplish my dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.Running is such a passion of mine. When I was 14 years old I experienced a life changing event that gave me this passion. I suffered a brain injury from a car accident that left me in a wheelchair & with no hope to ever walk again. For 2 months of my life I prayed for my miracle, and with strength and determination I proved all my doctors & nurses wrong... I walked again!When I run now a days I let this memory drive me harder than ever to be the best person/runner I can be! So therefore I know this goal of mine WILL happen for me and I will make most sure of it!
Sunday, December 30, 2012
This year has been a learning experience for me. Its been an exciting year. I am most grateful for interesting people and events brought into my life. I have experienced injuries, training, races, heartbreak, winning and losing this year that have taught me a lot about myself. I have taken a few leaps of faith this year that have helped me realize I had a massive amount of courage and strength I never knew possible. This year I have also felt a push from inside myself to move forward with my dreams. I have worked hard this year on accomplishing many things. I have also been fortunate enough to meet some really wonderful people to help me with these dreams.
The beginning of my year was fantastic. I was in full swing of training for a marathon in hopes of qualifying for Boston. As problems do occur, I developed an injury at the end of this training to cause me to miss my marathon. I pulled my calf muscles three weeks before the marathon was to take place. Anyone who is an athlete knows overcoming the phsysical aspect of injury is tough, but the mental part is what is really tricky. You never know if you can or will make it back, or if you do, will you ever be the same again? No one around you understands. You hear everyone say there's more to life than this running stuff. You do know they are correct but they don't understand how important this really is to you. It hurts me to not be able to train or run or to not know if it will be days, months, or even years before I can do this again. But being the fighter I am, I refused to let this keep me down long. When things in my life get tough it inspires me to keep going and pushing harder. This injury of 2012 taught me a lesson or two on compassion, patience, and humility.
2012 also brought to me tons of different types of training with many different types of people. I began doing a crossfit type training and I fell in love with it. I've always been involved in weightlifting and I felt a need to change up my routine in the gym. This type of training has assisted me with my endurance in my running and I found that it is just as addicting as running. This training shows you exactly what you are capable of. I was able to compete in a few crossfit challenges that were affiliated with Under Armour. Not only did I do crossfit training, I did a lot of running with many different high level runners this year that I have gotten to know well. I got to know quite a few triathelets this year and was fortunate enough to train with them and I still get to run with some of them weekly. One in particular is a girl that is very similar to me with her drive in life. She set out to conquer her BQ and went through obstacle after obstacle and finally accomplished it this year. I try to run with her every few weeks and she has been coaching me some on my speed. One big lesson I learned for 2012 was to pay attention to your training. If speed is what you are going for then train for it but be wise with the training. Another lesson was do what it takes to get it done. I got up most days of this year at 4 am to get my run in. That was to get my child taken care of then get my run done. So whatever it takes to do it then do it. Hard work is what we are all capable of doing. Its all about the amount of passion you have in your heart.
This year has also dug out of me the die hard ambition that I have always had. This push that has overcome me, and I speak of it often, has put my mind into overdrive. I wake up everyday with a more positive attitude of my life and an attitude that I know what I am trying to achieve and I know this will happen for me. I have followed every dream I've had in my heart this year, and I am thankful for doing this. Even though there have been times of heartbreak and disappointment I don't regret a minute of time I've spent. People were placed in my life at all the right moments and I look to these people as my stepping stones. I did have some hard times with some people through this year and I have simply stepped back and regrouped. I pushed forward without letting any drama distract my goals. I relearned a hard lesson that I thought I had learned a long time ago, that people will unfortunatley let you down without thinking twice of it but my favorite moto in life is keep rolling with the punches and everything will work out fine...
Now as I am approaching the end of my year I do not make resolutions, I only continue believing in myself and dreaming big. The big dreams I have had this year I have stayed focused on. I have visualized every goal in my mind over and over and these dreams are beginning to come true for me. I will end my year flying to Miami, Florida to meet one of my heros of running Mr. Bart Yasso of Runners World and to run with him. He has been a running legend for a very long time and I admire him so much. I have had him in my mind all year. When I had moments through this year when I felt extremely low I would keep my dream of him and Runners World on the tip of my mind. When I took a shot at Boston in Jacksonville and I hit the wall at mile 16, I immediately thought of him and thought I was letting him down and my chances of getting my story into this magazine was done. I picked my broken heart up after crossing that finish line and drove all the way home to Georgia. I cried the whole way home because I felt I had let him down and I had let myself down when I knew I was so capable of doing this. Then low and behold he emails me congrats on a PR! So my ending word on 2012 is keep your dreams in focus always and dream big because those dreams do come true! Watch out 2013 I am definitely planning on breaking into the running INDUSTRY this year with a smile!