Have you read her story in Runner’s World magazine? Pick up the October issue today! Photo courtesy of Nadia.
Super Alpha Female Nadia Ruiz Gonzales recently posted her latest blog entry and, I must say, reading it took a boulder-sized weight off of my shoulders. Let me give you a brief history on how we met before I explain:
When I began seriously training for my very first half marathon in 2012, I browsed the internet for running inspiration. My mouse would drag over athlete’s pictures and stories but one stopped me in my tracks. “Why is she always smiling?” was what I kept asking myself after seeing numerous pictures of this gal on the internet. I checked out her athletic Facebook page and, low and behold, she’s smiling in almost every picture with captions awe inspiring. I immediately declared her a Super Human because, after seeing her stats, I think you’d declare her one as well.
Right before New Year’s Race Los Angeles at Night made the announcement of who was going to be their 2014 Ambassadors, Nadia requested to be my friend on Facebook. “Uh, what? Why?” was what I kept thinking. Because I placed her on such a pedestal, I wondered why on Earth this Super Human would be interested in me (and she didn’t do it through her athletic account either – she used her personal account). I was definitely not going to decline her request because, hello, if she could share any pointers on how to be Super Human then I’m listening!
As it turned out, she’s an Ambassador for New Year’s Race and requested to be Facebook friends with the chosen Ambassadors! “I got selected? Me? Really?!” was what I kept pondering over the entire day. I knew there were several who had been running many years, more races, and run waaay faster than me. One of the NYR Race Director’s recently shared that it was Nadia herself who hand selected the Ambassadors. Life froze for a split second because, here I was, a newbie in the competitive running world and she chose me to represent something she’s a part of. I don’t know what she read on my application but I really hope she read the passion behind it.
So going back to my original story: after getting to know Nadia on a (slightly) personal level, I declared her a Super Alpha Female because she had the life I wanted: smart, educator, elite athlete, married (with a supportive husband), has a supportive family, a dog, and smiles (meaning she’s happy) all of the time. Between May and June, however, I noticed a change and asked others if she was okay. They said she fractured her toe from doing something silly. I naturally made the assumption that, because she was a Super Alpha Female in my mind, she was going to be fine in no time. Being ambitious and in tip top shape, there was nothing Nadia couldn’t handle. Well, I was wrong. Naively wrong.
You know the saying, “Never judge a book by it’s cover?” Yeah, ingrain that in your every day.
After reading Nadia’s latest post, I realized she’s not immune to the trials and tribulations of life. Not even close. Though she continues to try to keep a positive outlook while appreciating what she has and accomplished thus far, when something anything hits you to the core of your emotions it’s as if your spirit decides to take a break. A what?! Yeah, spirits can do that. It’s a climb to get out of, but it’s up to you on how you get out and react along the way.
Her post couldn’t have come at a better time because I am currently going through an emotionally tough period. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed, go to work, or do anything but nothing. And then I remember the feeling running gives me and all I want to do is run the entire day. But even running has been challenging because my spirit has been coming and going. My mind tells me to run, my body is probably in the best shape of its life, but my spirit is holding a “Be Back In…” sign. How powerful the spirit can be, huh?
Nadia’s post reminded me that, no matter the situation, surrounding yourself with people who wholeheartedly care for you and pushing yourself through when you, well, “don’t want to wake up”, you will come up stronger and your spirit brighter. This will take time, of course, with several moments of weakness you don’t want anyone to see but with a caring environment, giving yourself a moment/day off from everything, and remembering what you want to achieve will help you take a step forward – that important step closer to your happiness.
Until the next post…
Oh, wait, going back to what I said earlier and just now having that moment of clarity, I don’t want the life she has – I want my own definition of happiness. 🙂
keep on running!