Rebecca Gillem – Journey to the Princess Half

Hello Eastern Further fans!

It is getting so close to our race. What a journey it’s been for me to this point. I can’t begin to describe how much this experience has meant to me and how much I hope our hard work will inspire women (and men too) across the EKU community to break out of their comfort zones and pursue the seemingly impossible.

One thing I’ve really learned to appreciate throughout my training is how running is a metaphor for life. I have bad days where I struggle to put one foot in front of the other. In life, there have been debilitating challenges that have broken me but also taught me perseverance and that I am way stronger than I give myself credit for. It always plays out that in a matter of days though, I will have a running day where I break a personal record or run an extra mile because I can.

Running makes me think about my past. I’ve come a long way since EKU but my experiences from those four years are in me for life, forever imprinted in my heart. Running makes me think about my future. Where will I be? What new challenges will I face (and conquer)? Every step is a lesson and a testament to believing in myself enough to push through the pain and embrace the empowerment.

My favorite author is Donald Miller because of his earnest look at faith and how I see myself in him. In his book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, he sets out on a path to start living his life and adhering to the YOLO mentality. He decides to hike the Incan Trail among other challenges. My boyfriend is currently borrowing my incredibly highlighted copy but this is one of my favorite quotes and I keep coming back to it. It’s from when Donald and his group, exhausted from hiking, reach the city of Macchu Picchu instead of taking a bus:

“But the people who took the bus didn’t experience the city as we experienced the city. The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the ending an easier way.”

With that said, I am thankful for many things: this opportunity, the challenge, my supporters, and for people passionate about making change and improving the world around us. It is going to feel so great crossing that finish line in just a few days!

I’m ready for the race now I just have to tackle the worst challenge of them all: packing.

-Rebecca Gillem

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Categories: The Team

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