- 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!
Monday, January 21, 2013
This weekend I had my 1st half marathon. I had intentions of going out that day feeling great and doing my thing. I also had a few interviews lined up for after the marathon so I had been working really hard on getting those loose ends done. That week I had been throwing myself into my gym pretty hard and doing the crossfit type classes which I love so I was feeling tired. When I get to the marathon I felt so sluggish and my shoulders were absolutely killing me from a brutal shoulders like boulders routine I done the day before with my trainer at the gym. I knew better than this or actually I wasn't focusing at all on my run.
I ran my half marathon with my friend Kristi and she saw how bad my running was struggling. She gave me some good advice if Boston is truely my goal. I have spoke before on how Kristi has already qualified for Boston, and she did this through pure determination and hard work. While she was on her journey to Boston, she would text me of how her knees and foot was injured. She didn't let any of this stop her. She set her mind to Boston and did it. When she gives me advice of any type I listen to her because she has been on the same road I am traveling. She told me what I didn't really want to hear but what I needed to hear. The crossfit is wearing you down, and she said if you would focus more on your running and eliminate some of the other you would be unstoppable. Those words have rang in my mind since she said them. After the race I honestly ran through the finish line to my car to change. I wore shorts on the run and I had the interview with the television station right away. I changed, ran back to the finish line and did my very first television interview on overcoming the odds.
After this interview, I mingled around the finish line and spoke with some of the runners. I had the opportunity to speak with Sam Martinez, a very qualified fast running coach in Macon, who coached Kristi to Boston and is also an Ironman. I went over with him what I had been doing and he said the same things as Kristi said, that I was not focusing enough on the prize, Boston. He told me I needed to back away from my crossfit classes and throw myself into my running with everything I had. Hearing him tell me this lets me know I definitely need to refocus. I honestly can't believe I got side tracked. I believe the training I did for Jacksonville may have burned me out slightly, and along with everything else I have been trying to accomplish, maybe the multitasking life I have is beginning to wear on me.
I had another interview with a local magazine in Warner Robins, Georgia at the awards ceremony. I received an email from their sports editor on Thursday afternoon, he said he was interested in speaking with me that day of my marathon. I spent a while talking with him and shooting some pictures, then I headed back home. When I got home, I recieved an email from a film company asking if I would be interested in talking with them about my story. I almost fell out of my chair when I read it. I have been talking with the director all day. He mentioned he wanted to walk with me and do a documentary type show on my life day to day. He was a really cool guy when I spoke with him, and naturally I said yes I'd love to.
Different people always ask me what my fascination with Boston really is. I usually answer the same, Boston is my baby. It takes a lot of hard work to get there, its a prestigious marathon that you can't buy your way into, you actually have to earn your way in. Boston to me symbolizes challenge, determination, and willpower. I feel fortunate to know the people I do, that have made it there already. Especially the ones who have had to struggle and work hard. Kristi mentioned something to me Saturday as we were running, she said Stephanie we are not one of those people who were born with this gift. This is something we have to work hard to achieve but she said I assure you it's going to be well worth it when you get there. I will get there, I am going to apply all the advice given to me, although taking a step back seems so hard for me I have learned in this life this will help me.