My college running career at Baylor University was marked with several accolades, from All-Conference, All-Region, and All-American titles to school records to qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the 3000m Steeplechase in 2008. Naturally, I aspired to take my career to the next level as a professional runner. However, my college running career ended somewhat terribly. The last race of my college career (although I didn't know it was my last race at the time) was an indoor mile at the Tyson Invitational in February 2010. Although my body felt like it was running at a world record pace, I clocked a 5:14 mile, which was slower than my high school times and 30 seconds slower than what I was capable of running. My coach thought I was a mental case. However, I knew there had to be something physically wrong with me. A week later I was diagnosed with mononucleosis and a vitamin D deficiency. Considering the time and rest needed to recover from this and that this was my senior year and red-shirting wasn't really an option (another story for another day), my collegiate running was over.
Within the next year, I went from a lean 133 pounds at 5'9.5" to 185 pounds. (My husband jokes that he has never even weighed this much! Thank you, Grayson.) I was done. I went through this period of grief as if someone close to me died. Really, a part of me did die. I was angry, sad, and depressed. I avoided the people and places associated with what used to be a highly rewarding part of my life.
Until...a day when I decided to face this pain and drove to the track complex which I avoided for a year. It was spring 2011, when I found myself sitting in my car on a rainy day in the parking lot of the Baylor track. For the first time I vocalized my anger, frustration and pain at the disappointing end to my running career which seemed to hold great promise. This simple action led to what is now known as SheBe.
About a month later, a lightbulb went off. I realized I can do whatever I want to do if I just set my mind to do it. I set my mind to lose the weight I gained and get in shape. I made myself a workout and nutrition plan and got to work. One afternoon, when I was out on a run on a hot summer day in Cameron Park in Waco, Texas, I prayed, "God, please take my dreams (of being a professional athlete) away if they are not meant to happen." I kept running, and these words went through my head:
"She Be: She be what she needs to be when she needs to be it."
SheBe is a mindset. Simply, put in place whatever mindset needed to accomplish any goal. If I need to be strong, don't succumb to fear. If I need to be confident, believe I can. If I want to be true to myself, do those things that align with my goals, dreams, and desires.
SheBe Strong. SheBe Confident. SheBe Real.
SheBe has carried me the past few years. It has reminded me that dreams and goals do not end in the mere face of adversity. Overcoming that adversity is about positioning the mind to stay true to vision you have been given knowing that the calling is much greater than any heartbreak, pain, or difficulty.
Below are a few thoughts I journaled on July 17 of this year which define STRONG, CONFIDENT and REAL.
REAL = Authentic
Who you are is who are created to be. You were given dreams and ideas about yourself of who you should be. Those dreams are your gift. They are not a burden to plague you for what you are not. Rather, those dreams are meant to provide a roadmap for your future. Pursuing your dreams is your authenticity.
CONFIDENT = Self assurance
You are not ashamed of who are. You believe in yourself. You were not given your dreams by mistake. Therefore, you have it in you to make them a reality. You just have to believe in yourself to get it done. If you cannot, surround yourself with people who do. There will come a time when you say with your soul, "I can."
STRONG = Ability to withstand great pressure
Strength is not measured by physical ability. It is not denying yourself emotion. Strength is recognizing the journey is not straight forward. It will be marked by pain, challenges, and heartbreak. Strength is making a conscious decision to not let these challenges stop you. Strength is saying no to the lies, fears, and doubt that attempt to steal your dreams. Strength is protecting everything you are called to and chasing it with an unrelenting passion because in the depths of your soul you believe in your dreams. You believe in yourself. You believe in your God. You are made for greatness. Go get it.