Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Trojan Family

For those of you who don’t know or have not gathered it from reading my blog, I work for the University of Southern California in the School of International Relations. While I did not attend USC for my undergraduate education, I feel I have always been a part of the Trojan Family. My grandfather went here, my uncle and my cousin. I really wanted to go to USC but it wasn’t in the cards for me. Luckily, I work here now and am a part of the Trojan Family based on that!

Lindsay (my cousin who went to USC) and me before the USC-Stanford Game.

Since beginning my time here as a staff member for USC Dornsife, the people around me have been nothing but supportive and wonderful with regards to my slew of medical appointments (sometimes I worry a bit too much about those aches and pains), my back and forth treks to San Diego to have my new leg made, my crazy early work hours so I can race off to train, and my trips across the country or the world. I am incredibly grateful to have two supervisors who have cheered me on from the School’s offices and even checked my race results online to see how I did! I even brought my medals and trophies in for show and tell!

Several weeks ago I was contacted by the USC Dornsife Communications office after someone recommended they interview me and do a piece on a staff member. I was really surprised and excited to hear this! Their staff writer came by and interviewed me. After a few tweaks here and there, the story was released on Friday to the USC Dornsife News Page. I was really surprised to click on the page and find that image of myself there. I also absolutely LOVED the title of the article. Running Toward Greatness. She hadn’t let me in on this title and I may or may not have gotten choked up seeing that. Because I am trying to run toward greatness but more importantly I’m running to inspire.

And apparently that is what I have done. On Monday, it was posted to the main USC News site and included in an email on faculty and staff accomplishments and this morning it was added to the USC Dornsife Facebook page. Today, I arrived in the office to find it was smack dab on the front of the USC website. I won’t lie, it is REALLY strange to see your picture up and know that a ton of people who you have never met know your life story. In that short span of time since Monday, I have received several emails and personal visits to my office to discuss this article. I don’t let the interviews happen because I want to be “famous”. I agree to interviews because I want to raise awareness about Challenged Athletes Foundation, physically challenged athletes, and young adult cancer patients and survivors. I want to inspire others to conquer their own mountains. And this article did just what I had hoped: raised awareness and inspired others around my office.

Anyway, I guess this is when I’m supposed to say Fight On? But seriously, I am extremely lucky to work for such a supportive university.

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Columbia Muddy Buddy- In a word: FUN.

A few weeks ago, CAF was looking for an athlete in the Los Angeles area to head out to San Dimas for the Columbia Muddy Buddy Race. They emailed me and I jumped at the chance! You see, I’ve been dying (I’m serious. DYING.) to do a mud run for a while. But I was worried about ruining my running leg or falling, etc. But this time I couldn’t say no!

Knowing that this was the type of race you do with friends, I invited my friend Melissa to do it with me. Not that you would call it a race but I knew it would be much more fun getting disgustingly muddy with a friend.

Going into the weekend, it was raining. A LOT. I know many of you will think I’m exaggerating about the rain. Yes. It is Southern California but I swear it was raining! It rained all weekend in fact. Heading out to San Dimas on Sunday morning, I started to get worried about how much rain there had been all weekend. Here are just a few of the concerns that went through my mind:

Was I going to destroy this running leg that had propelled me to so much success?

Was I even going to be able to do this? (This is a constant question for me: Can I do this? And I always try- I mean you have to. And usually I can do it.)

As we arrive, I can hear the MC paging me from afar. I had to sprint down to the stage because I was there to accept a check on behalf of CAF! So there I was running down the steepest hill I think I have had to run down since I starting running again and slipping and sliding all over the place. But I made it!

The run was insane. It was a trail run and because it had rained for 3 straight days, it was MUDDY. I could barely keep my footing to run so we ended up walking a lot of it. The major reason I couldn’t get my footing is because I had no traction coming off of my running leg. Thank goodness Melissa was there because I basically used her as a crutch the whole time. We basically had a pattern: run up the hill, walk (or slide- you choose) down the hill, run on the flats to the obstacle courses. I was able to do a majority of the obstacles. I took some maneuvering since most of these obstacles required climbing over large walls but I did it! The last section was the dreaded mud pit. This was what I was most nervous for. But thankfully, Bob Babbit (founder of Competitor Magazine and founding member of CAF) was there as I headed toward the mud pit. He grabbed my running leg from me and someone was waiting for me at the end. Seriously, so thankful for that! The pit was sooooo muddy. I mean disgusting. But I loved every second of it!

Melissa and I after the mud run. We hosed off a bit before the picture so you could see our faces!

All in all it was such a great time! If you have the opportunity to participate in a Muddy Buddy event- DO IT! It is so much fun. I’ll definitely be doing another one soon!

After a brief hiatus…. we’re back!

So I haven’t blogged in about 2 weeks for several reasons: I’ve been busy and feeling a little uninspired to write. But I’m back.

A few quick updates:

  • I did not run LA Rock and Roll Half Marathon. As excited as I was, I needed to listen to my body. And the lady told me her knees and shins were hurting far too much to run 13 miles. Now you might say, well you can run/walk or just walk most of it. But my response to that is: DO YOU KNOW ME? I’m competitive. I’d tell myself I was going to run/walk but then once I start running I can’t stop. So there you have it. My first half marathon is still in my future but it’s important for me to listen to my body.
  • I am going to be featured in CancerToday (formerly CR Magazine). This is a relaunch issue and the section I will be in is called, “Life Beyond Cancer”. When it is available online I will link you all to it!

This past week I was contacted by a member of Pi Phi at Davis to help her with a paper for her Upper Division Writing Course. (Of course, I would help her because that class was the bane of my existence senior year.) The assignment was to write a piece on someone who inspired her. I was very honored that she reached out to me to help her with this. She asked me some great questions which forced me to continue to reflect on this journey. (Have you noticed how reflection has been the common thread in this blog?)

The question that really had me thinking:

What is the greatest lesson you have learned so far in life?

I sat staring at my computer screen for quite some time. What lessons had I learned? Every one is different? Yes. But I knew that already. The value of surrounding yourself with friends and family and positive people? Yes. But none of these answers were hitting home. They didn’t sound right.

And then it hit me: Life Goes On. That is what I have really learned. There are a lot of hurdles in life whether it be cancer, like me, or your career or a difficult relationship. You will face those hurdles but life will still continue on. You will grow from many of the hurdles and life will go on.

So this concept has been in my mind since I hit send to respond to her questionnaire. And I thought I’d share with you.

Next time: My first mud run- pictures and tales from Muddy Buddy.

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