"Storms make trees take deeper roots!" (Dolly Parton). I heard this quote today, and I have not been able to let it go. It creates a positive spin on those negative life lessons we all encounter.
I had a dream, as a kid, to be a professional athlete. I absolutely loved sports. I especially loved softball. Not only did I like it, but I excelled at it. Oh, it wasn't always that way. When I played with my siblings and kids in the neighborhood, whoever got 'stuck' with me went by this rule: "Her runs count, but her outs don't". I don't think they were trying to be mean to me, but it sure did get under my skin and propel me to excellence.
Back then there weren't traveling teams, but if there were, I'm quite certain I would have been on one. Then, just like that, life took a turn. Something completely out of my control side swiped me, and I lost focus. It wasn't something I made a conscious decision to do, but none the less, I lost focus. And I lost hope in myself and my ability to be all that I dreamed I could be. Can you relate?
So I pushed my dream aside and became "careless with my life". A lot of what I experienced was in my thoughts. I spoke life sucking words over myself, "You're not good enough. Women can't get scholarships. You're a loser". I lost the ability to believe in my dream, and I began walking in the lies of those negative voices. Why? Adversity in my life. Something happened that stole my ability to believe in myself.
One thing I will say is this: my dream was lost, but it never disappeared. All my life I was an avid sports fan. I coached my kids in soccer, softball and basketball. Yeah, I was one of those crazy parents who'd drive two hours to my daughter's basketball game and then get back and go to my son's gymnastic meet. But that wasn't "my" dream. I may have hitchhiked on their coat tails, but it wasn't mine.
About a month ago, one of my running friends told me about something called "Texas Senior Games". I was so curious. She competed and qualified for both the 5K and 10K events and advanced to the 2019 National Senior Games to be held in Albuquerque. I was so excited for her. And I was disappointed for me. I had missed it. The state qualifiers for Texas had passed. Disappointment. But, I decided I could compete in the next one in 2020. Are you kidding? Two years of waiting. No way. So I started researching. I discovered you can qualify for Nationals in a neighboring state, and Oklahoma had not held their qualifiers yet.
Something surged in me. Call it an obsession. Call it joy. Call it a dream that came back into my heart with possibilities. A dream with new life. I heard myself say, "Terri, you are doing this!" And I am. I am planning, preparing, running, working with a nutrition coach....I am ready to do my best.
It has taken me a long time to realize adversity can knock you down, or it can give you the fuel you need to keep going. I may have been blind back then, but no more. You know the quote, "Will you let it be an obstacle or an opportunity?" It may have taken me 50 years to turn this around, but it is turning around. I am an overcomer. Again, it is all in the way I choose to look at it. 3 years ago my son, Jeremy, challenge me to start running. I told him he was nuts. Now I realize that was all part of God's plan to help me realize my dream. Dreams are meant to be fulfilled, not stolen. What dreams have you let adversity crush in your life? Don't wait. Grab ahold of it now, and go for it.
Please join my Facebook Group: Living Life Again: (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1996285353777834/) and join me in kicking adversity to the curb.