I've been thinking about writing this post for a few days and always got to a certain point and then lost my words. I lost two very special close to me this weekend and it was pretty difficult processing both, while being so far away from family and friends. They were both wonderful souls and inspired me to run in very different capacities. My grandfather, who suffered from MS, inspired me to start running and continued to push me to run farther and faster. My friend, whom I grew up with through High School, was a phenomenally talented person and an amazing runner- my inspiration for whom I'd love to become one day.
While it is always difficult to say goodbye or not get a chance to, but I found myself feeling strengthened and empowered on my runs these past few days. I could feel their presence with me as I worked through my emotions out on the trails and know that they were accompanying me, pushing me to go faster and not give up. It was an amazing feeling.
While out on the trails on Saturday, I looked up and saw a bald eagle soaring high above. I just knew it was my grandfather following me on my run. He was so strong, resilient, powerful, stubborn- all the qualities that I believe a bald eagle emits. He continued to watch over me as I finished my run and rather than feeling sad or lonely, I felt humbled and complete.
I will continue to carry the wonderful memories shared with these two beautiful souls and bring them on all the adventures that I embark on. When I feel myself slowing or slogging through a race or training run, I will power through because these individuals never gave up or gave in when things got tough.