Hi! Just wanted to let you guys know that online registration for Todd's race has opened today. This is such a special, special event - This race is an out and back on the VA Creeper Trail starting from the trail head in abingdon out 5k and back. It's an evening race ( which I feel makes it fun) We also have a walk- so it's SO family friendly- one parent can run, while another and kiddos walk- it's dog friendly, stroller friendly- it's just a friendly race. period. We award super cool swag and one of a kind awards, and the BEST part its 100% of the entry fees goes directly towards Todd's scholarship fund- not race overhead- So no you aren't buying your t-shirt when you enter- YOU are helping send a couple of kids from Southwest VA to college and realize their potential and fulfill their dreams.
Tomorrow is my brother Todd's birthday. He would of been 45. Birthdays and holidays ( even now 8 yrs later) are particularly difficult for me. What I find helps me the most? working on the scholarship and his race. It gives me focus, it's a healthy vehicle for my grief and allows me to feel empowerment, not helplessness. Losing Todd was hands down the hardest thing I've been through- It's a wound that is always there- I think as time moves on I have just found better ways to deal with my loss, and accept what happened, did happen- even though some days I have to say just seems like no way it's true- like it was just a bad dream..
I try to always ALWAYS focus on GOOD memories and have SO much gratitude that Todd was in my life the time that he was, and I have so many awesome memories and hilariously funny stories. Such a gift. I also am so happy that by helping others in his memory through the race and the scholarship- YES LIGHT CAN COME FROM DARKNESS. I feel so personally victorious in that regard- because there was a time in the weeks and months after he death- I was in such a state of shock and grief, I had no idea how I was going to resume my life. My life changed from that moment. Once I figured out there is no more normal- or going back to what was- I had to make the choice to trudge on ahead- HOWEVER- TRUDGING with Todd's positive attributes ingrained in my heart- SO I can live a life that I know my brother will be proud of. Todd's legacy is not what happened to him aug 10th 2007- Todd's legacy is how many people he impacted while on this earth. MANY family, friends, classmates, co-workers. Toddy quiet simply was an amazing, dynamic individual. How many people he has positively influenced even once he went to heaven ( and yes, he is THERE) . SO MANY PEOPLE. So while I don't understand why he was taken from us, and in the manner that I feel he so unfairly was- I have gained this peace in KNOWING- 1. he is okay 2. he is waiting on me in heaven- so I do not fear death the way i did before he died. 3. I like to think Todd sees how much I've grown ( unsure if he does or if that's possible) his death did create a HUGE shift in my life with being so acutely aware of my own mortality and the fragility AND RANDOMNESS of life.
I was a stay at home mom with two small kids, led a pretty simple existence up until that point. I loved to run local races and marathons but I never thought I would become a race director not in my wildest dreams and for the cause that it's for. I never dreamt I would become an ultra runner- but I feel it was always there under the surface just waiting to manifest- todd's death catapulted me towards DOING. Not just wishing and wanting but DOING. I always wanted to be a yoga teacher- wow- I'm doing it- working on my RYT. I always wanted to be captain of my own ship and master of my destiny and I'm doing it through my business, Mountain PrimaDonna, LLC- I'm not saying all this to toot my horn- but I'm just saying Loosing Todd was my wake up call. I know that sometimes people criticize me and arm chair quarter back ( esp people who really don't know me well, value me or have any sort of insight about what my journey is all about) but I digress I got over all that crap years ago-- if I let negative junk like that hold me back I would never get anything accomplished. Bottomline: even though I don't have my brother Todd physically here with me in my life, I am SO grateful for my journey because it's made me who I am. The good stuff and the adversity and challenges. I am grateful for it all. The challenges have strengthened me, given me compassion and empathy, and perspective.
Todd: I miss you everyday! I truly am SO proud to be your sister, and as long as Im alive I will always try to honor your memory by living life on my own terms, giving second chances, and being REAL and GENUINE- and working hard/playing hard and living life to the fullest every single day. . LOVE YOU, BROTHER! HAPPY BIRTHDAY