Recently, I started listing the stories and my book for a writing resume. I remembered that years ago, I had a couple of poems published in two anthologies for The International Library of Poetry as part of a course I took through them; somewhere I have all of the material from that course. Both compilation books published in 2001 and I have copyrights on them. I took the books off the shelf and read the poems not knowing the would have true meaning 16 years later and even before.
On Sunday, August 9, 2015, I completed my fourth ever Sprint Tri(athlon) with this as my third Iron Girl Triathlon. My seventh wedding anniversary also took place on this day.
I knew the day would take every ounce of energy-physical, mental, and emotional – I had before the day concluded. On Saturday night, while I prepared and packed for the Tri, I pinned two Angel pins near the right shoulder of the shirt that would cover my swimsuit for the cycling and running segments of the Tri. These Angels represented my husband, Russ, sitting on my shoulder as I completed the Tri. He didn’t disappoint me as I persevered through the challenges.
Many Angels surrounded me as I swam 1/2 mile, cycled 12 miles and ran/walked 31 miles. Not only did Russ and other Heavenly Angels sit on my shoulders, but Team Phoenix members were all around me. Team Phoenix this year composed of 47 cancer survivors either in treatment or remission. Most of them survived breast cancer and all of them were first time triathletes. They rallied before starting and you couldn’t help but feed off their energy. This strong group of women inspired me to keep going even when I started tiring. I stuck around until the last triathlete crossed the finish line and it happened that it was a member of Team Phoenix. The entire team went back on the run course to finish the race with her and everyone else associated with the team waited for her on the other side of the finish line. They even had a ribbon for her to cross. Many people shed tears including me. These tears represented joy, hope, strength, inspiration, and love.
We’ve all overcome challenges and tragedies on our journeys and continue to inspire others. We’re all thriving overcomers!
International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day resides this year on November 22, 2014.
Across the world, people gather as one. We all have something in common. We have lost someone to the completion of suicide. It’s a day to share journeys, hope, and healing. I found out Monday afternoon that I’ll be hosting a resource table for my book, That’s All I Got! at the Milwaukee event sponsored by the Mental Health America of Wisconsin. On this day, I am inspiring, sharing, healing, and strengthening.
If you aren’t able to attend a local event, there’s a 90 minute live video feed at 12 pm CST/1 PM EST so you too can take part in this day. Follow this link to join: Survivor Day Live
If you’ve ever waited for something big to occur, then you know the feelings that go along with it. While excitement builds, other feelings play into it. To say I’m giddy and hyped up would definitely be an understatement. Each time I share details of my book progress, my grin appears bigger and my eyes wider. I receive ideas from things I read and from speaking with people.
The other night at an event, someone asked me what comes to mind when I hear the word passion. My immediate response: writing. When asked more about it and why, I had a mouthful to share. I want my thoughts conveyed through writing to inspire others. I want to shed light to people at the end of a very dark tunnel after suicide or any tragedy; it’s the purpose of my book. I want to help others at a personal level.
It’s exciting to feel momentum build knowing I can help many.